January 1st is just a day away and one thing is for sure… 2009 will be a new year in so many ways. Will the economy turn around or will it stay flat? One thing is for sure, the old days of easy credit to anything with a pulse are long gone. As far as credit cards go, Credit Card Forum is making three predictions:
(1) Lending Standards Will Remain Tough – The economy could start turning around in the second and third quarters, but lending requirements will remain equally as strict.
(2) Balance Transfer Promos Will Continue To Be Reduced – The fabulous 0% on balance transfers credit cards we’ve seen over the years will not be seen again anytime soon. Long gone are the days of 0% until balance is paid in full, 0% for 12 or 15 months, and other similar interest rate deals. True, there will be the occasional balance transfer offer for 12 months interest free, but these will be rare and only available to customers with the best credit. Longer offers, such as 0% for 15 months, will unfortunately not be available. Of course, the creditors who continue to give the longest balance transfer offers during this time will have the opportunity to pull in more new customers than the other guys.
(3) The Fed’s New Credit Card Rules Will Be Adapted Early – As of now, creditors have all the way until July 2010 to implement the new credit card reform rules. Credit Card Forum predicts not every creditor will wait until last minute to adapt the new rules. In the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2009, we will see a number of credit card companies adapting the practices early. The main reason they will do this is it will be a good marketing PR move they can mention in commercials and advertisements.