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New rules for credit cards now in effect

New credit card rules for American consumers went into effect Monday.

They're designed to provide some new protections for consumers, under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.

The new rules include a ban on universal default. Credit card companies will no longer be able to raise your interest rate if you miss a payment on a different bill.

The rules also restrict interest rate increases for the first year after you open an account.

Companies are now required to send statements 21 days before a payment is due. It's a change to help consumers avoid late fees. Before, companies were allowed to send statements 14 days before payment.

Consumer advocates say there are still some things you need to watch out for. They're expecting new fees in other areas, such as annual fees for cards that did not have them before. Some companies may also add new processing and inactivity fees to your account.


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