Credit card news roundup
Credit card regulation at a snail’s pace?
The New York Times ran a piece Thursday that suggested that credit card regulation may be stalled while the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set up. The problem is that the President’s pick to head the new regulator, Professor Elizabeth Warren, is so wildly unpopular among Republicans that he dare not nominate her yet as the bureau’s director.
Instead, he has appointed her a White House assistant, and tasked her only with creating the new organization. Current thinking is that she will be nominated for the top post sometime next year, when her record as an administrator is clearer and her confirmation stands a better chance of passing the Senate.
However, it’s now emerged that the bureau’s limited rule-writing powers are ineffective until such time as a director is in place. And that means that it’s likely to be at least mid-2011 before that work can even start.
Credit card applications and credit scores
The Dallas Morning News provided excellent advice earlier today for those considering making a credit card application. Check your credit score before you apply.
If that score is lower than you think it should be, make sure your credit report is accurate, and–if it’s not–ask the credit bureaus to correct errors. This blog will be covering this process–which is sometimes less than straightforward–in more detail soon.
When you know your credit score, only shop for credit cards that are appropriate. The best credit card offers are often reserved for those with excellent credit reports, so if your FICO score is over 750, you would probably be better off applying for one of these.
If you haven’t quite reached those dizzying heights, but you’re above 720, then you may still qualify for better than average credit card deals. If your score is between 660 and 720, you can probably get a mainstream card. But if it’s below 650, you’re likely to be considered sub-prime. If that’s the case, and you’re turned down for a standard card, why not consider a secured credit card?
Student credit cards face new competition
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported today that a new form of plastic is arriving–uninvited–on college campuses across the nation. Apparently one million students have received a MasterCard® branded debit card from a company called Higher One.
And many aren’t happy about it. Critics say that the new cards, which allow users to access their student loans in retail and other outlets, aren’t covered by recent credit card regulations and carry high fees.
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