The credit card has had a devastating and lasting impact on America’s economy. Since 1980, credit card owners have relied on their cards to make purchases beyond their normal price range and then paid it off a little at a time to make pricey items more affordable. However, consumers fell into large sums of credit card debt thanks to high interest rates placed upon monthly bills by large credit card companies. Credit card companies frequently used a practice called “rate-jacking.” Rate-jacking is when credit card companies suddenly raise interest rates or fees to already existing balances.  The “rate-jacking” by credit card companies forces consumers to pay more than what they initially believed what they were going to be charged. American consumers now find themselves in large sums of credit debt because of rising credit rates and fixed incomes. The federal government realized that action was needed to combat the skyrocketing interest rates that most, if not all, Americans could not afford. In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act. In the bill protected credit card users by heavier regulation on contracts between consumers and credit companies. Secondly the act limited access to young adults to protect them from the high interest rates and debt associated with credit card usage. Lastly, the Credit Card Act focused on how Congress should take action in the future on regulation of issuer practices rather than just vulnerable groups such as young adults. With this new bill consumers could purchase on credit freely without fear of their rates increasing as a result of rate-jacking. However, Americans still live in a culture of debt and remain a consumer first economy, which people frequently spend well beyond their means.
 Adam Levitin, “RATE-JACKING: RISK-BASED &OPPORTUNISTIC PRICING IN CREDIT CARDS.” Utah Law Review (2011). EBSCO Host http://web.ebscohost.c om.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=3de1cfd2-0a42-47f5-8e29-4c3a6ef08210@sessionmgr114&vid=4&hid=124 (accessed April 20, 2013).
 Zachary Luck, “Bringing Change to Credit Cards: Did the Credit CARD Act Create a New Era of Federal Credit Car Consumer Protection?” Harvard Law Review (2011). EBSCO Host http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw .edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=446eba19-6209-4aee-84db-370ecad27c4a@sessionmgr115&vid=3&hid=124. (accessed April 21, 2013).