A Senate panel committee approved a bill today that would limit credit-card rates. The panel's vote, though, was close. It passed narrowly, 12-11 -- with every Republican voting against it. The bill now heads to the full Senate. The House Financial Services Committee will vote on its version of the legislation tomorrow.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said the measure was needed to protect consumers from having their interest rates raised on previous balances, unless certain conditions are met. The legislation would prevent credit-card companies from unilateral changes to the terms of an agreement.
The bill, known as the “credit card bill of rights,” also would require the signature of a parent for a borrower under age 21, unless there’s proof of independent income or completion of a financial education course. Universities that forge marketing deals with card companies would be subject to the rule.
“The list of troubling credit-card practices is as lengthy as it is disturbing,” said Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat. The measure passed on a 12-11 vote, with all the panel’s Republicans opposing it. The bill now goes to the full Senate. The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a vote on its version of the legislation tomorrow.
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