I always wonder why people like to portray credit card companies as evil. Today, Obama came out against credit card companies. I will admit, I am not your average credit card user. I have actually only carried a balance on my credit card once, and that was because I had forgotten to pay the bill. So perhaps I am not the best person to comment on credit card company practices. But the way I see it, people do not have the right to credit. You do not have the right to borrow money at a low rate. These companies are providing you something you would not otherwise have and nobody can force you to buy something on credit.
Obama wants to limit the amount that credit card companies can raise rates and make sure that the language in their contracts are clear and easy to understand for the consumers. I'm all for the latter, as I think people need to interact with each other in clear and transparent ways, but I am again not sure this is going to give us what the President is after. The law of uintended consequences is bound to take hold here. If credit card companies can not charge high rates, they will be less likely to lend to people of questionable credit worthiness since they cannot make money on these people. These are often the people who most need to have some form of credit available to them because it is not available otherwise at any price.
Now, this might end up being a very good thing for our society as a whole. I think we all need to have a little less debt. Especially credit that costs as much as credit card companies charge. But on an individual level, I can see this playing out badly. People who truly need to use the emergency funds that credit card companies can provide will be unable to. Where will that leave them?