How Credit Cards Could Be Nicer

With the Senate’s recent interest in bringing credit card companies to task for their ridiculous fees and policies, ConsumerAffairs has a few suggestions for banks to become more consumer friendly:

End punitive practices. Cardholders should pay the money they owe, no more, no less.

Clearly disclose the terms. Cardholders should be able to know upfront, in plain English, exactly what their credit card agreement entails.

Reduce reliance on the credit score. …Banks should employ much greater flexibility and give their branch managers more latitude to use their personal judgment.

Better financial education. …More schools should offer classes devoted specifically to teaching students how investing works, how debt can be accrued, and how credit is not a blank check.

The last one is the most important. How is it that kids graduate high school with the Krebs cycle memorized, but they know jack-all about the billing cycle?

After that, it’s off to college to sign up for a credit card in exchange for a Big Johnson t-shirt. The spending blossoms. Then we’re shocked, shocked! when they walk off the cap and gown line mired in debt, and no clue how to deal with it. — BEN POPKEN

Credit Card Industry Takes Its Licks [Consumer Affairs]