Dallas—Tuesday, lawmakers on Capitol Hill overwhelmingly passed a bill (90 to 5) to hold credit card companies more accountable. If signed into law, the Consumer Credit Act would sharply curb the ability to charge you hidden fees. Companies will have to disclose interest rate hikes in advance.
Still, people who have learned the hard way say they're through with plastic.
"Had a lot of credit cards, accumulated a lot of debt over the years and will never let that happen again," said Mike Schauer, of Dallas.
Colby Neal decided credit cards weren't for him when he realized 18% interest was costing him an extra $50 a month.
"I just decided to pay off my credit card, try to slowly climb out of being in debt and save money in the long run," Neal said.
According to lawmakers, 80% of American households have credit cards and pay $15 billion dollars in penalty fees each year. One out of five students are saddled with at least $7,000 of debt.
"The statistics are just overwhelming of what's happened to people at a time when jobs are being lost, homes are being foreclosed, retirement accounts are being eroded," said Senator Chris Dodd, (D) Connecticut.
Doug Stephens is a financial coach who helps people who are so in over their head with debt, they stop paying.
"In essence, they're throwing in the towel. They don't have a choice. I mean it's that or not feed their family," Stephens said.
He says the legislation will bring good changes, but it will also make lending tougher. Some say that's not a bad idea.
"If people can't qualify for it, they need to figure out another way to get money or decrease their spending," said Jason Smith.
"Consumers are going to have to get to a new frame of mind. That is they'll have to be in a position where they don't reach for there credit card every time they don't have cash in their pocket," Stephens said.
The bill now goes to the House where it's expected to pass as well.