SEATTLE - New credit card rules go into effect today -- it's the second of three phases of changes.
These latest rules are, perhaps, the most significant of the phases.
College students will no longer be preyed upon by the credit card companies, which now can't solicit students to sign up on campus. The average student graduates with $3000 in credit card debt.
The average family carries $10,000 in credit card debt.
Puget Sound Business Journal banking and finance reporter Kirsten Grind says one of the rules with the most impact is on rate hikes.
"They no longer can allow credit card companies to hike up your interest rate on existing balances. So you won't just get a bill in the mail saying, oh, my gosh, my credit card bill just went up," says Grind.
Some of the other changes include ending double cycle-billing, which allows the companies to use your previous month's average daily balance when figuring your balance.
No interest rate hikes the first year.
A limit on fees you can be charged for exceeding your credit limit and there will limits on the annual fees a card company can charge you.
Consumers are being urged to read the fine print.
Grind recommends calling your credit card company if you have questions.
"Sometimes that means you have to call the company and have them walk you through it," she says.