Menendez, Champion Of Credit Card Reform, Hails Passage Of Landmark Credit Card Legislation In US Senate

Menendez, Champion Of Credit Card Reform, Hails Passage Of Landmark Credit Card Legislation In US Senate

Member of Banking Committee helped craft major provisions in bill, including protections for consumers under 21

Washington - The US Senate today passed landmark credit card reform legislation by a 90-5 vote. This legislation will end a number of deceptive and predatory practices, including surprise and unjustified interest rate increases and unreasonable penalties.

US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is a member of the Banking Committee and has been a champion of credit card reform, having authored the Credit Card Reform Act ( He helped craft major provisions in this bill, including:

  • Protecting college students and other consumers under the age of 21 by requiring them to proactively opt in to receiving credit card solicitations rather than automatically receiving them, as is now the case
  • Requiring credit card companies to verify an applicant's financial ability to hold the credit card before giving approval, much like new regulations in the mortgage system
  • Prohibiting credit card companies from giving away free merchandise on college campuses in exchange for filling out a card application and requiring public posting of deals between credit card companies and colleges that may provide the card companies with student data (Menendez joined Sen. Feinstein on this provision)
  • Requiring companies that charge payments but advertise "free" credit reports to disclose, "This is not the free credit report provided for by federal law" (Menendez joined Sen. Levin on this provision).

Menendez released the following statement:

"Those of us who have been championing credit card reform for years have faced obstacle after obstacle, but today we may have cleared the final major hurdle. With this vote, we can confidently say that the trap doors will be sealed shut, the booby traps will be dismantled and the erasable ink will be poured down the drain.

"Families too often feel like, while they take their own finances seriously, credit card companies treat it as a game. They feel like every time they swipe their card, a trap door will open beneath them. This legislation will finally help make things fair between cardholders and credit card companies. It will make sure that responsible cardholders are treated responsibly by the companies. As debt piles up for so many families struggling in this economic crisis, they need to know they won't be tricked or abused by credit card companies. It is also vitally important to help prevent young consumers from being sucked in to a cycle of debt before they've even had a chance to get on their feet. This bill will help foster this type of economic security."