We’re nearly six months into the new credit card regulations and the gloom and doom predicted by the industry doesn’t seem to be materializing.
The changes forced credit card companies to change the way they hike interest rates on cardholders and apply payments. It also impacted fees charged for over the limit purchases. Banks had complained it would cut into their profit centers and force them to bring back annual fees and cut promotions such as rewards programs.
It’s still a competitive environment. The number of card offers hitting mailboxes is up from the depth of the recession. Analysts suggest cardholders have backed away from annual fees out of fear that they will give customers an incentive to leave them.
The Associated Press reports banks are still more cautions about lending to all but their best credit risks. The best deals are being mailed to customers with credit scores of 760 or higher, about a third of the nation’s population.
The regulatory changes approved by Congress will take time to sort through the market. Consumers will be watched to see what level of change they will tolerate. In the meantime, the fears expressed about the damage to the industry seem to be overblown.