Vermont Voices

President Obama met Thursday with top executives of the nation's largest credit card companies. The president threw his support behind legislation to discourage higher fees and interest rates and to require loan terms to be "written in plain language and be in plain sight." Senator Bernie Sanders agrees, but would do more. He proposed a bill to limit interest rates at 15 percent. While the president sat bankers down at the White House, Sanders went to the Senate floor to read from letters and e

President Obama met Thursday with top executives of the nation's largest credit card companies. The president threw his support behind legislation to discourage higher fees and interest rates and to require loan terms to be "written in plain language and be in plain sight." Senator Bernie Sanders agrees, but would do more. He proposed a bill to limit interest rates at 15 percent. While the president sat bankers down at the White House, Sanders went to the Senate floor to read from letters and e-mails he has received from Vermonters. "I, like so many others, am appalled at the hikes in credit card rates! Everywhere in our small town in…Vermont, everyone is talking about the latest surge in interest rates. People who are never late in payments have seen their rates climb overnight," one person wrote from Franklin County. "The outrage, which I am sure doesn't surprise you, is building. Doesn't anyone get it?"

"I have listened with interest to the banks' argument that they NEED the current high fees, penalties and extraordinary interest rates on credit cards in order to dig themselves out of the hole in which they are currently mired. We, the voters, do not need to pay usury and get nickel and dimed," another wrote.

A woman from Burlington added, "There is a lot of news this week on how the credit card companies are trying to recoup their losses by raising interest rates on our credit cards.

This is what my husband and I have just experienced. Two months ago I ran my husbands credit report and between the 3 credit bureaus we ranked around a 800 credit score. We have never been late on a payment and have been married 41 years. We are proud of our accomplishments-putting two kids through college and beyond. Times were tough as we struggled to pay our debt but we went without "things" to be on time every month…Two weeks ago we received the notice from our Visa…that the terms of our agreement were changing and the interest rate was changing. The wording was such that it was difficult to understand what they were doing to us. I think they were raising the rate and also perhaps making it possible to change the rate anytime they wanted…Doesn't seem fair does it?

To watch the senator read e-mails on credit card rates, click here.