Your (New & Improved?) Credit Card

debt-diet_280x370 The CARD Act of 2009, which takes effect on Monday, reins in some nasty practices, but leaves some loopholes you need to be aware of.

It's still up to you to know the terms of your cards, read the fine print and stay on top of any shenanigans that card companies may pull.

Three things to do now:

  1. Take stock. In advance of the new restrictions, some companies have hiked interest rates, altered due dates, imposed dormancy fees—trying to squeeze more money out of you. Read your recent statements, and call the card company to fix unwanted changes—or switch cards. This article on offers suggestions.
  2. Know your rights. Because the CARD Act covers many issues, it helps to laser in on the provisions that pertain to your situation. We like this pick-and-choose guide on
  3. Be proactive. "Use credit responsibly" used to mean that you should pay bills on time and in full. These days, to be a model credit citizen it pays to stay informed about the evolving world of credit. Join DW contributor and credit expert Erica Sandberg and others in a live discussion with the White House about the new law on Monday, 2 PM Eastern.

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