Congress did something right: The Credit CARD Act works

Assorted credit cards

Don't listen to any of the nonsense the banking industry says about the Credit CARD Act.

It is working, no matter how much they're paying lobbyists to say the legislation has made it more difficult and more costly for consumers to get credit.

A new study from the Center for Responsible Lending shows just how much progress we've made since the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 took effect.

The rules, which both demanded a clearer acknowledgement of a credit card's cost and set limits on when companies can increase interest rates and charge fees, have led to greater transparency.

"Price transparency is likely to lower costs long term by spurring competition and making it harder for issuers to manipulate or arbitrarily raise prices," the center concluded in the study "Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works."

According to the center, about $12.1 billion in previously hidden fees are now stated clearly on credit card offers, which means we have a better idea of what using the card will actually cost versus being surprised with additional charges and fees.

The study also found that the number of credit card offers has been extended in pace with the economy, showing access to credit hasn't declined, and the rate at which we're paying off credit cards has remained level.

The center did its homework on this one.

It looked at data from the Federal Reserve Board, revenue information from federal bank regulators, data about credit card mail solicitations and rate information from our cousins over at -- actual facts, from many different sources, showing the benefits of the CARD Act so far.

And here's the big takeaway: Despite the dire warnings that the banking industry screamed about pre- and post-CARD Act, there have been no price increases.

Our access to sensible credit has not been taken away.

Only good things have come from the CARD Act -- well, for consumers.

Which is why big banks want you to believe otherwise.

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