Credit Cards

A credit card is a form of borrowing that often involves charges.  Credit terms and conditions affect your overall cost, so you should compare terms, conditions, and fees before agreeing to open a credit or charge card account.  Shopping around for a credit card can save you money on interest and fees.  You should find a credit card with features that match your needs.

Credit card issuers have wide latitude in what interest rates they charge.  However, the issuer must inform the consumer of the applicable interest rates.  It is important to read all the terms and conditions in the original credit card agreement and in any supplemental notices.  Federal law allows interest rate increases on existing balances, such as when a promotional rate ends, when there is a variable rate, or if the cardholder makes a late payment. 

If you have a problem with your credit card, you should attempt to resolve the issue directly with the credit card issuer.  However, if you cannot resolve the issue directly with the issuer, you may wish to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Board (“CFPB”).  Please visit www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ to learn more about the CFPB complaint process.

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has useful articles and brochures that address various topics related to money and credit.  Please visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/money-credit for more information.  The CFPB has also published a useful resource for consumers to provide information about credit cards and common terms in credit card agreements at www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/credit-cards/. Additionally, you can get more information on credit cards from the ConsumerEd page published by the State of Georgia.  For more information, please visit www.consumered.georgia.gov/your-money/credit/credit-cards-and-accounts.

If you need help managing credit card debt, fees, and/or high interest rates, you may wish to consult a credit counseling service.  For more information on credit counseling services, please visit “Credit Counseling.”