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There is light at the end of the tunnel for cash-strapped consumers. Congress passed and President Obama has now signed a long-awaited set of new provisions to prevent credit card companies from suddenly raising interest rates or raising interest rates on preexisting balances. The bill will take effect in nine months, and will force credit card companies to give consumers 45 days notice prior to changing interest rates. Additionally, the bill will require that interest rates remain the same on preexisting balances, unless a consumer falls 60 days or more behind in payments.

Under the Bush administration, where the financial sector reigned supreme, little had been done to aid financially struggling Americans prior to the new provisions. Employing the same old tactics, such as complicated legal terminology in contracts and sudden rate increases, has kept the financial sector well above the red. Simultaneously, even the most responsible Americans who pay their bills on time are unable to even make a dent in their credit card debt.

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