| July 9, 2010

Retailers affected by credit card laws

Many consumers saw the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act as one that would make their lives a little easier by providing relief from the harmful fees and rates credit card companies could hit them with almost whenever they liked.

But few consumers probably realized that these rules would also prevent them from getting the deals they’ve become accustomed to on their big-ticket purchases. According to a report in the Lynchburg (Virginia) News and Advance, the same laws the prohibit rate changes from credit card companies will also prevent retailers from making offers like “no money down” and “90 days no interest” on things like furniture, HDTVs and appliances.

Because the same rules that apply to credit card companies also apply to retailers, they can no longer offer credit deals for less than six months. There is a danger as well, because offers of “six months no interest” could mean that the first six months of interest are deferred rather than non-existent.

These deals will also likely be in shorter supply since retailers will lose more money than they would have before on such offers. Motivation to make up these losses is the same reason why credit card companies are increasing interest rates.

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