I came across this kind of interesting twist to the legislation on credit card regulations:
While these extended credit arrangements on large purchases were, perhaps, not well explained by the salesperson looking to make the sale ... the new law added a new twist that REQUIRES a certain monthly payment ... and also requires substantial fees if the payment isn't made ...While protecting your credit score is your main concern, there's another reason to regularly pay down that debt. Although the Lowe's card account isn't charging interest for the first year, new regulations mean you still need to make monthly payments to avoid being charged any fees. "Prior to this, we frequently offered the no interest, no payment for a specific amount of time," Cobb says. Not anymore. "Now, under the new Credit CARD Act, you are now required to make that minimum monthly payment," Cobb says. If you fail to pay on time, expect fees. As outlined in G.E. Money's terms and conditions, your "account is subject to late payment fees if the minimum monthly payment isn't made," Cobb says. Additionally, once those 12 months are up and a balance still remains on your account, interest charges can be assessed retroactively.
The govt, in its infinite wisdom ended up not helping the consumer very much at all.
I bought my laptop on one of these deals ... no interest for 18 mos. I figured out how much I had to pay each month in order to pay it off before I incurred any interest charges. Real estate income being erratic, if I made a lesser payment one month, I could make up the difference in the next month, and still accomplish the end goal. I made a payment every month, but could have also skipped a month if I had neeeded to.
With the new law, I would not have the same flexibility ... and actually pay a fee for under-paying on a given month or missing a month's payment.
Dontcha just love it when a plan comes together?