New rules from the Federal Reserve guiding how credit card companies handle consumer credit accounts go into effect today. The intent of the new rules is to protect consumers who use credit cards from costly practices that were previously unregulated. Along with protecting consumers from unexpected increases in credit card interest rates, creditors are prohibited from issuing a credit card to a consumer younger than 21, unless the consumer has the ability to pay, or obtains the signature of a parent or other cosigner with the ability to make the required payments.
Other changes state that your credit card company must tell you when they plan to increase your rates and fees. Also, monthly credit card bills will include information on how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you only make minimum payments.