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Obama Takes Aim at Credit Cards

Another sign the nation’s in a credit hangover: The heads of credit card divisions of over a dozen banks will meet with President Obama at the White House on Thursday, as Congress tries to crack down on the industry’s tricky ways. A House bill will seek to prohibit credit card companies from hiking interest rates on existing balances, charging late fees early, and charging interest on debt that was paid on time. Another bill in the Senate would go even further, prohibiting the companies from aggressively marketing to people under 21, raising interest rates for any reason, or charging fees to make a payment. Obama is said to support something stricter than the House bill but not as harsh as the Senate proposal. The Federal Reserve has already created new rules regulating credit card companies, but they won’t go into effect until July 2010.