Credit card changes on the way - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Credit card changes on the way

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Some major credit card changes go into effect next week that you need to know about.

Starting Monday, your monthly billing statements will look a lot different. They'll show you how long it will take to pay off your credit card debt by only paying the minimum requirement each month. That will be contrasted against becoming debt free in three years.

Credit card issuers must now give consumers 45 days before interest rates are raised, and credit counseling information will be displayed prominently on each bill.

Consumer Credit Counseling of Southwest Georgia CEO Irma Whitten says if people are struggling to pay their high- interest, high- balance credit cards, credit counseling is a good option.

She said, "We can get their interest rates reduced dramatically, as well as their payments. Now they're payments are not reduced as dramatically, but the interest rates are. We see interest rates at zero, 1%, 7%, so people ought to be coming, knocking our doors down."

Credit Counseling can negatively affect your credit score, though, so you should only get the counseling if you're having trouble paying your bills.

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