Fed Survey Confirms Credit Card Issuers Raising Rates and Cutting Limits

November 11, 2009, Written By Lynn Oldshue

A Federal Reserve survey released yesterday showed that a substantial
number of credit card issuers have cut credit limits, increased interest
rates, and raised the minimum credit scores required for a credit card
during the past three months.

The quarterly survey among loan officers also found 75% of banks that
make credit card loans do not expect to be compliant with the provisions of
the legislation until February 2010, the month these reforms go into effect.

The Fed’s quarterly survey was conducted in October and included loan officers at 57 U.S. banks and 23 U.S. branches of foreign banks.

In this survey, the Federal Reserve asked the loan officers about the impact of the CARD Act. Here are some of the findings:

* Interest Rates–54% of banks have already increased or are planning to increase the credit card APR on their good (prime) customers. 74% of banks have already or will increase APRs on those with poor credit (subprime).

* Credit Limits–just over half of the banks have cut or will cut the credit limits of their credit card customers.

* Approval Rates–it is tougher to be approved for a credit card. 47% of the loan officers said they have or will raise the credit score requirements for prime customers qualifying for a credit card. That number jumps to 53% for subprime customers.

* Annual Fees–almost 40% of the banks had increased or will increase the annual fees on credit cards.

This report confirms what credit card consumers have been experiencing all year: significant increases in their APR and substantial cuts in their credit limits. Issuers are trying to take these rate increases before the CARD Act provisions go into effect in February of 2010.

The Fed’s complete survey can be found here:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/snloansurvey/200911/fullreport.pdf


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The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 11, 2009. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.