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Your Call

The credit card industry's manipulative tactics to keep people in debt

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On this edition of Your Call, we discuss credit card debt in the US, which collectively stands at over $1 trillion.

Conversations about credit card debt are often framed as a result of personal choices, but major credit card companies often use manipulative tactics to keep people in debt.

President Biden, a former ally to the powerful credit card industry, recently moved to cap late fees at no more than $8 a month, down from an average $32, according to the AP. Last month, a federal judge in Texas appointed by Donald Trump halted the new rule from taking effect, which was a major victory for companies like Visa and JPMorgan Chase. Banks brings in $14 billion in credit card late fees every year, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

What will it take to reign in this profitable industry?


Arjun Singh, senior podcast producer for The Lever


The Lever: Credit Card Companies Want To Keep You In Debt Forever

CNN: Judge blocks Biden administration rule capping credit card late fees at $8

Common Dreams: New Rule Under Biden Would Save Americans $10 Billion a Year in Credit Card Fees

CFPB: CFPB Report Highlights Consumer Frustrations with Credit Card Rewards Programs

The American Prospect: What We Owe: The big banks behind the rising cost of credit

Reuters: US consumer watchdog to examine credit card rewards, 'buy-now, pay-later' companies

USA Today: Bernie Sanders, AOC unveil legislation to cap credit card interest at 15%

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.