Credit Where It’s Due?

Looks like the Dodd credit card bill is poised to move its way through the hallowed halls of Congress. Given the topsy-turvy mortgage market, anything remotely related to the credit industry is bound to make a pretty fat target for legislators looking to prove their consumer-friendly bona fides through legislation. Not that the two are directly linked to each other in any significant way… but who can tell one credit market from another?

Backers of the bill (and similar restrictions), of course, tend to talk in airy terms about protecting consumers. But don’t people looking for credit have some responsibility to make their own decisions about what deals will and won’t work for them? After all, even the best loan deals can eventually hurt borrowers if they aren’t properly understood and acted upon. Outlawing certain lending practices seems like it will, in the end, simply make it harder to get credit—especially for the poor and low-income folks who have the hardest time getting credit in the first place.


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