Your credit card bill: there's good news, and there's bad news...

Somebody needed to bundle the credit card companies into a windowless room and give them a bloody good shoeing.The Government has had a crack at it, in order to get a better deal for customers struggling with repayments during the credit crunch.

The result? It all depends whether you're behind on your credit card payments or not. If you are, you might just get a helping hand. If you're not, you'll probably get a kick in the crotch.

One of the dirtier tricks employed by the dastardly companies has been to raise the APR on any outstanding debts when a customers defaults, effectively making it more difficult for those struggling to meet repayments, to pay off their debt. This dastardly behaviour has been the focus of the Government's attention, and from January 1st a set of guidelines will be in place, including:

  • an option for customers to transfer deals, or freeze the account and pay off debts at the existing interest rate, should the company wants to raise its APR
  • a freeze in APR for customers should they fail to make the minimum repayment for more than two month, already have a repayment plan in place, or are in serious discussions with a debt advice group

And the bad news? If credit card companies can't make their jillions in profit by raping and pillaging the poor, they'll most likely rape and pillage the customers with good credit ratings who never make late payments. Analysts believe that 2009 may see the return of annual fees on credit cards,  and well as far fewer 0% balance transfer offers. Bah!

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