The short answer to this question is No. There is no government program designed to pay your unsecured/credit cards bills. The president does understand that abusive credit card practices have caused a lot of distress in individual families and has forced the credit card companies to stop some of the most egregious behaviors. Here’s a little about what Obama has done to help.
Better Disclosure of Credit Card Terms
- Card issuers must display how long it will take to pay off a balance if only the minimum is paid and how much interest will be paid;
- Full disclosure of payment due dates and late fees on your billing statement; and
- Card issuers cannot use the term “fixed rate” unless the interest rate will not vary over the published period.
Fair Payment Applications and Times
- Issuers cannot set early due date deadlines in the day (e.g. They can’t make the payment due at 9 am);
- Due dates will be set to the same date each month
- Credit card statements must be mailed 21 days before the due date rather than the industry norm on 14 days.
- When paying more than the minimum balance the difference will be applied to the highest interest balance.
- Card companies must consider a consumer’s ability to actually pay off the cards when granting or increasing credit.
Restriction of Certain Fees and Interest
Issuers cannot charge a fee for payments via mail, telephone, or electronic transfer unless the payment is expedited though a live service (i.e. when you call up to arrange a rush payment);
Over-the-limit fees cannot be charged unless the consumer has allowed their card to have over-the limit charges; and
- No interest charges to debt paid in time, otherwise known as double-cycle billing.
Unfair Interest Rate Increases and Term Changes
- Promotional rates will generally last at least six months
- Card issuers cannot raise APR, finance charges, or fees in the first year an account is opened and limits the ability of issuers to use “universal default” repricing.
- Credit card companies must notify consumers 45 day before any interest card rate changes or significant changes to their card terms
Oversight of Industry
- The Federal Trade Commission will set rules to limit deceptive marketing by credit card companies
- Credit card companies must post their card agreements online and provide the agreements to the Federal Reserve Board to post on their site.
Protecting Young Consumers (under 21)
- Consumers under 21 must have the signature of an adult over 21 who will take responsibility for the consumer’s debt or provide proof that the consumer has the means to pay off any credit card debt
- No credit limits unless both the consumer and the co-signing adult agree
- Increased protections from credit card companies enticing young consumers to sign up for credit cards and transparency showing agreements between credit card companies and universities.
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