"A report released by the National Consumer Law Center in Boston contends that the credit card industry is structured to enable consumers to borrow beyond their means and recommends new regulations to modify some industry practices. The report notes that in some circumstances the credit card industry's practices can potentially have negative impact elderly Americans who have fewer resources to help themselves get out of debt.
The National Consumer Law Center report explains that with about 2.3 general-use credit cards in circulation for every man, woman, and child in the U.S., credit cards are everywhere.
The main issue is that the industry is structured to make the most profit from consumers who pay over time, which unfortunately includes those consumers who get into trouble with credit cards, the report explained. The report also highlighting such things as penalty fees, punitive interest rates, so called 'deceptive' marketing, and minimum payment terms allowed cardholders to get stuck in a cycle of debt.
In order to curb credit card debt, the report recommended a series of steps, including prohibiting the certain credit card practices and requiring more open disclosures regarding terms, fees, and interest rates. Additionally, the National Consumer Law Center suggested promoting debit card use as an alternative, but only if consumer protections against fraud are strengthened to match those of credit cards and if banks stop allowing customers to overdraw their accounts."