The credit bill is going to get passed soon enough, but is it really enough to get Americans off debt in the long term? Some say that legislation will take care of that by limiting and reigning in the credit card industry, which seems to have been running wild the last few years. Others argue that the problem is actually the American people themselves, specifically their spending habits.
So, where does the problem lie? If you really take the time to look at it, you'll see that the problem is shared all around and every part of the problem, from the creditors to the credit cardholders, holds the solution to the entire problem.
Judging by the recent public outcry over the unfair and downright deceitful practices of credit card companies, it definitely seems that credit card issuers are the root cause of the problem. Their sudden rate hikes and imposition of high transaction fees to their customers without any prior notice and without even taking into account their customer's credit history is certainly right there with outright highway robbery.
Other questionable practices perpetrated by the credit industry include allowing overdraws so that they can make money off the interest or the overdraw fees, extending credit to people who are not in a stable enough financial situation to pay off their credits and, perhaps the sneakiest of all, increasing interest rates if the customer pays late to an unrelated credit card company or even a utility company.
The credit card bill, which will soon come out of congress, should stop these practices and some others. However, there is some degree of truth over justifications of credit industry insiders who say that the credit card industry never forced their customers to sign up to their programs or to charge excessively on their credit cards.
It is very true, cardholders were never forced to charge expensive dinners, luxury gadgets, and unnecessary expenses without considering if they could pay for it or not. The mantra for the spending habits of America seems to have been “spend, spend, and spend” for the past few years. It also didn't help that the credit card industry encouraged this habit by lowering their credit card application requirements, offering deceptive packages and generally giving consumers enough leeway to bury themselves in debt for the next ten years or more.
Although the credit card industry has a lot to answer for, clearly the spending habits of the American consumer need to change as well. Fortunately, the economic crisis, the employment slump and the oppressive actions of the credit industry have put such a strain on every American consumer's finances that they are doing just that.