Carrying a credit card balance can be expensive for consumers, especially for those who make only minimum monthly payments. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires that consumers be provided with toll-free telephone numbers to call for an estimate of how long it will take to pay off their credit card balance, if they make minimum payments. To obtain appropriate information, consumers should call the telephone number for pay-off information that will be on their credit card billing statement. Large banks and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) will be providing consumers with telephone numbers to call for pay-off information for bank-issued cards. Banks issue nearly all credit cards, including co-branded cards that have the name of an airline or a retailer.
The FTC is providing a telephone number (1-888-600-4804) for consumers with non-bank cards to call for their estimated pay-off information. Information is available in both English and Spanish. For consumers who prefer to use the Internet, the Commission also has posted on its Web site a calculator that provides the same information. To access the FTC’s on-line calculator, consumers should click on http://www.ftc.gov/creditcardcalculator. For Spanish-language consumers, information is available at http://www.ftc.gov/calculadora. The FRB, which is responsible for implementing the Bankruptcy Act, developed the telephone program and calculator.