Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 3, 2019
New credit card payment rules for Quebecers take effect today
Quebec’s new rules on minimum credit card payments, which take effect Thursday, will likely be followed closely by other provinces, the head of a consumer advocacy group says.
The new rules require banks to set a minimum payment of at least two per cent of the balance owing starting Aug. 1. It will eventually rise to five per cent.
“I suspect that other provinces are looking at this carefully, looking to see the impact from this, [and if there are] any objections from the credit-granting community,” said Scott Hannah, president and CEO of the Credit Counselling Society.
“But really this just makes good fiscal sense. For those who’ve gotten themselves into debt, this will help them.”
Twenty years ago, a five per cent minimum payment was fairly standard, Tanguay said. But the minimum percentage has dropped since then.
Banks have the option of raising the minimum payment rate to five per cent right away, although Hannah doubts many institutions will do so because that change could have negative consequences for people with higher debts.
There are no federal rules about minimum payments, but there is nothing preventing other provinces from coming up with their own.
Consumer protection policies can happen at a provincial level, but Hannah said that there tends to be continuity between provinces on these kinds of rules.
“Other provinces in Canada will be looking at this carefully, and if they’re not seeing a lot of challenges or uproar from consumers or credit granters, they may elect to adopt similar legislation,” he said. (CBC)