Some consumers using credit card debt less as new regulations loom

Recent data from First Command Financial Services shows that some of those who are aware of pending credit card debt reforms have already changed their habits.

According to the firm’s Financial Behaviors Index, 22 percent of respondents who have knowledge of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act said they have been dropping their use of credit cards. Furthermore, 15 percent said they are paying off more of their credit card balance every month.

Terri Kallsen, executive vice president of strategic development for First Command, said that changes in how consumers handle their cards shows their desire to try and get out of debt.

“In effect, many Americans have enacted their own reform program by keeping their cards in their wallets, Kallsen said.

A second set of regulations from the Credit CARD Act are set to start in February. Beginning then, credit card debt companies will not be able to arbitrarily raise interest rates on accounts. Furthermore, the new rules will limit the ability of people under 21 to get a credit card.