WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators have adopted new rules for the credit card industry intended to protect consumers from arbitrary hikes in interest rates or unfair time constraints for paying.
The rules will allow credit card companies to raise interest rates only on new credit cards, future purchases or advances and not on existing account balances.
They also restrict certain lender practices, such as allocating all payments to balances with lower interest rates when a borrower has balances with different rates.
However, some experts say the changes could make it more difficult for people with bad credit to cards.
The Office of Thrift Supervision approved the rules this morning.
The Federal Reserve and the National Credit Union Administration are expected to act on them later in today. They would take effect in July 2010.