Recently, the US Federal Government has enforced new regulations for credit card companies. Called the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure or CARD, this act was established to help consumers have more control with their credit cards. This was also created to help consumers avoid going into deep financial burden.

A legal US resident will most likely have a credit card or two and this law will most likely affect every consumer.

The following are the facts about the CARD Act that you need to know:

1. Assistance for college students - the new act will oblige credit card companies to attract students by offering free products after they sign up with a credit card. But the offers can’t just be implemented online or anywhere in the country. The offer has to be made near or on the campus.

2. Extended payment time - the current rules and restrictions in credit cards only allow credit card holders to a maximum of 14 days after receiving the bill. This is often challenging for some credit card holders. The CARD Act will extend the payment deadline to 21 days (7 days more).

3. No double cycle billing - one of the best restrictions that come with the CARD Act is that prohibition of double cycle. Double cycle is basically sending two bills as some days are independent of the current billing cycle. By preventing double cycle, consumers will only have to pay for one billing cycle.

4. Disclosure on minimum payments - consumers are currently tied to their personal minimum payments as credit card companies do not offer a time-line on when the full balance will be paid. The CARD Act will enforce mandatory information on when will the consumer completes the payment if they follow the minimum payment.

5. The 36-month rule - the CARD Act will also enforce credit card companies to inform consumers on the amount they need to pay if they are planning to pay for their balance within 36 months. This will give the consumer a good idea on how much to pay monthly to pay of the balance faster.

6. Lower fees on low spending limit - another great law enforced by the CARD Act is the limitation on fees of credit card companies on those with low spending limit. The credit card company should never charge initially more than 25% of the credit limit. The credit card company should also never charge more than 50% of the credit card limit on the first year.

7. Increase in annual fee - while this is not a direct effect of CARD Act, this is considered as a backlash by credit card companies. Because credit card companies may experience some losses because of the new provisions, one way of maintaining the earrings is to increase the annual fee.

8. Effect on strict credit card users - not everyone is aggressively using their credit cards. The new law will most likely have some negative effects on them because some rates will increase no matter how you use your credit cards.

9. Limited rewards - another "side-effect" of the CARD Act is that users will most likely experience limited rewards on the use of credit cards. As already indicated, credit card companies will suffer losses because of the CARD Act so they have to cut back on rewards.

10. Limited advantage for faithful users - the CARD Act is basically geared for those who are having trouble in using their credit card. Those faithful in paying their credit card debt monthly will not experience any improvement in service or worst, will experience increase of fees.