Financial responsibility crucial to consumers staying out of debt

Due to new legislation, Americans were given a reason to regain trust in the credit card industry. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act has forced issuers to make their terms and conditions easier to read for consumers while eliminating hidden fees. Financial analysts say, however, that unless cardholders go out of their way to educate themselves on the terms of their contracts, they may not benefit from all of the CARD Act.

Interest rates continue to rise as issuers look for new ways to make profit under CARD Act restrictions, the Dallas Star-Telegram reports. Members who do not monitor changes to their credit and are still susceptible to debt, and analysts say that those who already carry balances may find themselves even further in the hole.

Former credit card executive Gene Truono tells the Star-Telegram that while the CARD Act is aimed toward making the market more fair for consumers, financial responsibility will still play a large role in whether or not Americans can keep themselves out of debt.

In addition to capping fees and penalties for credit cards, the paper notes that the new legislation has also placed a five-year minimum expiration date on all prepaid cards to further aid consumers.