President Obama on Friday signed into law a bill that will restrict how credit card companies can raise interest rates and charge fees. The legislation, written by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), also forces companies to simplify terms and conditions of contracts. Analysts said the law will transform the industry, which has gone largely unregulated since usury laws were relaxed in the late 1970s. Consumer advocates said it would protect borrowers from actions that have made it difficult for them to pay off their debt. But card executives have said it will hamper their ability to manage risk and will force them to withhold credit or raise interest rates for all their customers. The law will go into effect in nine months. Here is a breakdown of what you will find in the law and how it will affect you.
CREDIT: Nancy Trejos, Patterson Clark - The Washington Post, May 24, 2009