September 30, 2009

Canada's New Credit Card Regulations

CANADA - New rules for credit cards in Canada will come into force January 1st 2010 and September 1st 2010. The new rules are attempt to create more transparency for consumers and make it easier for consumers to pay back their debt.

Coming January 1st 2010

Credit card issuers will be required to provide a "summary box" on credit contracts and application forms that explains key features in plain English.

Credit card issuers will be required to inform consumers how long it will take to fully repay their balance if they only make a minimum payment every month.

Banks will be required to give consumers "advance disclosure of interest rate increases prior to their taking effect, even if this information had been included in the credit contract."

Banks must get express consent from cardholders for credit-limit increases.

Banks must limit certain debt collection practices.

A complete ban on 'over-the-limit fees' solely arising from holds placed by merchants.

Coming September 1st 2010

The new rules will give consumers a minimum 21-day interest-free grace period on all new purchases when they pay their outstanding balance in full by the due date.

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