Credit Card Bill

Sky-high interest rates... Excessive fees... Those words translate to dollar signs for credit card companies... And growing debt for consumers.

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg reports on a new effort to stop the plastic empire from preying on you.

Today, consumers debt nationwide is at $880 billion.

Two U.S. Senators are pushing a bill that would curb what credit card companies can charge you. Some in Amarillo say it's legislation that's long overdue.

"I have one credit card and I'm down to $600 and once it's paid off that's it, I get tired of paying the interest," says Marilyn Welborn, a credit card holder.

Welborn is ready to be debt free, and only use plastic in an emergency. She is in favor of the Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act. It would prohibit interest on debt paid on time and other fees... Limit penalty interest rate hikes to no more than 7%. And stop pay-to-pay fees, which is when companies charge customers just to make a payment.

"I think it's good business sense our gov't needs to step in and put a cap on what some of the credit cards are doing," says Arna Reynold, with the Amarillo Community Federal Credit Union.

"I'm glad the politicians have stepped up because you see people rely in tough times they live off their credit cards," says Welborn.

Reynolds says to look for alternatives to credit cards if you can, like opening a line of credit to make purchases because there are no hidden fees.

"Its easier for people to monitor because we are local, they can call and verify the amount remaining on their limit," says Reynolds.

The bill - which was introduced in the U.S. Senate - would certainly help out the more than 2 million American families that carry more than $20,000 in debt.