Cap Credit Card Interest

President Obama planned to meet Thursday at the White House with bank executives about credit card charges that are outraging consumers. Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, pressed his case for a nationwide cap on interest rates. "I am delighted that President Obama will be meeting with credit card companies," Sanders said. "At a time when the American people are bailing out Wall Street, when the Fed is giving large financial institutions loans at zero interest, what you're seeing are millions of

President Obama planned to meet Thursday at the White House with bank executives about credit card charges that are outraging consumers. Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, pressed his case for a nationwide cap on interest rates. "I am delighted that President Obama will be meeting with credit card companies," Sanders said. "At a time when the American people are bailing out Wall Street, when the Fed is giving large financial institutions loans at zero interest, what you're seeing are millions of people paying 30 percent interest rates on their credit cards. It's immoral." Sanders has proposed a 15 percent cap, the same limit that has applied to credit union loans for decades.

"The banking lobby is very powerful," Sanders added, "but I hope we can pass a national usury law to set a nationwide limit on how high interest rates can go.

Congress and the White House are focusing on consumer complaints about banks imposing arbitrary interest rates on past balances to slapping bill payers with hidden fees for paying by phone or online, for instance. Legislation in the House and Senate would speed up consumer-protection rules the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have adopted but won't take effect until July 2010.