New York lawmaker releases credit card study

Consumers looking to cut credit card debt while conducting their holiday shopping may want to avoid store-brand offerings, a new report by New York representative Anthony Weiner says.

Weiner, a democrat and member of the House of Representative’s Commerce Subcommittee, seeks to warn shoppers of the cards’ potentially high interest rates.

From a sample of store brand cards at 35 major New York City stores, the report found that store cards could have interest rates as high as 29 percent. By contrast, the national average interest rate is less than 15 percent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“As this survey demonstrates, store charge cards can be very expensive if you don’t pay the bill in full every month,” said Chuck Bell, Programs Director for Consumers Union. “Consumers need to be aware that store cards usually carry sharply higher interest rates than ordinary credit cards.”

The study found cards issued by Radio Shack, Best Buy, Staples and Home Depot were among the cards that offered the highest interest rates.

Congressman Weiner is currently trying to approve legislation that would increase disclosure rates on annual fees for store credit cards.