This past month we learned the country’s debt has exceeded the 17 TRILLION dollar mark, ($17,000,000,000,000.00) marking the fourth straight year in row that our country has spent at least over $1 TRILLION ($1,000,000,000,000.00) in expenditures. To put it in more understandable terms, that means if you took every single person in America today (roughly 314 million), each man, woman and child would owe the government over $54,000. Since there are six children in my family, and my wife and I, we would owe at least $432,000 in debt! For each taxpayer, the number is even more astonishing, as our little guys obviously do not pay taxes. That number is closer to $170,000 per person. Are you kidding me? I think my wife and I would have to make over $1 million/year each in order to pay $170,000/year in taxes. That will never happen! That is why I decided to write a short post about debt and consumer credit card protection.
I think most American are well aware of these numbers as they have seen the debt clock on the news at one point on another. However if you never have, I invite you to go and see the debt clock for yourself by going to this web site U.S. Debt Clock. This site is so amazing as it breaks down just about every single category of money coming in and going out of our country today. For example did you know that the top six debt items we pay on include:
1.) Medicare $791 billion
2.) Defense $668 billion
3.) Social Security $742 billion
4.) Income Security $366 billion (whatever income security is)
5.) Interest on Debt $225 billion
6.) Federal Pensions $213 billion
And these are just the six largest ones. The list goes on however and covers everything from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Total National Assets. It truly is a remarkable web site and is fascinating to look at whenever you have time.
Individual debt is very much on a similar pace, albeit much small numbers, however if 10 years ago, the average family carried less than $2,000 in credit card balance per credit card and that number is well over $8,000 per credit card on average now, you can see that our own personal situations are not that far off from that of our governments.
This is why President Obama and federal government introduced a bill that was signed almost 2 years ago, to protect consumer like you and me who are preyed upon by the credit card companies. It was called the Obama credit card debt relief plan, and became law in October of 2011. The new rules were put in place to protect consumers in order to give them fair warning before new fees, charges, or their interest rates on their credit cards are raised.
Here are some of the highlights of the bill. Credit card companies are now required to give 30 days’ advanced notice before changing a contract. Therefore, companies that issue credit cards are now required to give you at least a 45 day warning before changing the terms of your credit card agreement. If you, as a consumer, do not want to agree to the new terms, you do not have to abide by the new rules by closing out your account and paying off the balance on your account. You will be given five (5) years to pay off your balance at your existing rate. We would urge every single person who experiences a change in their credit card interest rate to take advantage of this plan. Of course, not many people take the time to even read the material that comes to them in the mail, and as a result end up stuck with higher interest rates on their credit card debt.
Secondly, credit card companies will now be required to put their bills in the mail 21 days before the due date instead of the current 14 days. This will give the consumer an extra week to pay their bills and should lessen the likelihood of being late with their monthly payments.
Thirdly, companies that issue credit cards will no longer be allowed to raise interest rates on the consumers existing balances unless those people are 60 days or more late with their payments. This is great for people with large balances as they can at least now know that the interest rate on that money will not be increased.
Finally, the new law will require that anyone who is 21 years of age or younger to have a cosigner to get a credit card. This will have a major impact on credit card companies, especially those that like to prey on college campuses throughout the country. In addition, creditors will only allow smaller credit limits to those first starting out as well. Also, interest rates will not be allowed to be raised in the first year for anyone unless there is a specific provision for that in the contract.
To learn more about the Obama Credit Card bill, simply click on this link: Obama signs law credit card reforms law, or go to your favorite web browser and type in Obama Credit Card Bill for more information.
This is a personal service announcement from Nationwide Debt Reduction, the largest Christian Debt Reduction program in the United States today. You may contact Nationwide toll free at 800-890-6658 to learn more about this article or learn how you can lower your credit card debt with just one phone call.