The new Credit Card Act which requires credit card companies to disclose how much a debtor needs to pay each month to pay off their balance clean within three years, and how long it would take them to be debt free if only minimum payments are made may not effectively reach debtors who bank online or pay their credit card bill through automatic electronic payment. Debtors who bank online and forgo credit card paper statements may need to navigate through a series of web pages and download a PDF file to access the new disclosure information. But according to many debtor advocates, most credit card debtors don’t move beyond the initial web page which tells them their balance, due date and the minimum amount they must pay.
With so many debtors choosing to bank online exclusively, it may be difficult for them to access the credit card disclosure information which will provide important information about how long it will realistically take to pay off their credit card debt. It is disappointing that the legislators who enacted this new rule did not consider the fact that many Americans choose to bank online that they may never receive a paper credit card statement because they have opted out of receiving paper statements. It may be wise if legislators require credit card companies to include this disclosure information on the first page of the debtor’s online credit card account. But since it is not likely this will happen anytime soon, if at all, it’s important that credit card debtors take the initiative to thoroughly review their statements and find out how long it will realistically take them to repay their credit card debt. Without this type of reality check many credit card debtors will continue to plod along paying on credit card debt in a manner that will keep them indebted for years.