The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards

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V. Know Your Rights

At this point you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision about applying for a new credit card and how to take advantage of the special offers and rewards that come with being a new credit card holder.

It is also important to know your rights as a consumer. Below are a few acts that you should be aware of. If you need more detailed information about these acts and the protection they provide, follow the links provided below.

The Truth In Lending Act (TILA)

The Truth in Lending Act is a federal statute which requires commercial lenders to give a borrower the exact information on interest rates and a three-day period in which the borrower may compare and consider competitive terms in order to cancel the loan agreement. It also ensures that every customer who needs consumer credit is given reliable information about the cost of that credit.

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)

The Fair Credit Billing Act applies to “open end” credit accounts, like credit cards, and revolving charge accounts, like department store accounts. This act protects consumers against billing errors.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. This ensures you are given accurate information about what is included in your credit report, and gives you the right to ask for your credit score and dispute inaccurate or incomplete information, among others.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because you receive public assistance. Creditors may ask you for most of this information in certain situations, but they may not use it when deciding whether to give you credit or when setting the terms of your credit.