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Credit Cards - Terms


Can the bank change the terms—close the account, change/increase interest rate, or lower the credit limit—on my credit card account / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit?

Generally, yes, a national bank can change the terms on any of the listed types of open-end credit accounts. It must send you a notice of the change at least 15 days in advance.

The 15-day timing requirement does not apply if

However, the bank shall provide notice before the effective date of the change.

Please review your Account Agreement, which is the contract governing your credit card account. It provides information on changes that may occur to an account.

In addition, a national bank may close your account at its discretion. Depending on the circumstances, the bank may or may not be obligated to send you a notice of adverse action outlining the reasons for its action.

Under what circumstances can the bank change the terms on my credit card account / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit?

The purpose of the Truth in Lending Act is to allow consumers to make informed decisions about consumer credit costs and terms. The Act requires that certain terms be disclosed up front. These include

The Act allows a bank to change the terms of open-end credit such as those listed above.

National banks are required to notify affected customers of any changes to the terms that were required in the initial disclosure statement at least 15 days before the effective date of the change.

How must the bank notify me when it changes the terms on my credit card account / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit?

Whenever any term required to be disclosed (such as the finance charge) is changed or the required minimum periodic payment is increased, the bank shall mail or deliver written notice of the change to each consumer who may be affected.  

The notice shall be mailed or delivered at least 15 days prior to the effective date of the change. However, the 15-day timing requirement does not apply if

In both these instances, the bank must provide some notice prior to the effective date of the change, but there is no 15-day rule.

Be sure to review your Account Agreement, which is the contract governing your account. It provides information on changes that may occur to an account.

Does the billing cycle have to be 30 days?

No, but this is a standard cycle period. If you desire a different cycle, contact your credit card company. 

For more information, review the Account Agreement you received when you opened the account.







Copyright 2007 by Mark McCracken , All Rights Reserved