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Vanishing Low Interest Rates and Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Answering the question of why a great number of credit card bills arrive from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and what the term "universal default" means.

Many people often wonder why it is that their credit card bills come to them from Sioux Falls in South Dakota. The simple reasoning for this is that South Dakota is the home of very liberal laws concerning consumer protections for credit cards. The state of South Dakota receives a great deal of revenue from it's partner in crime, the credit card industry. Albeit it is certain that the absence of corporate income taxes plays a huge factor as well. There are many financial service companies located in South Dakota include Great Western Bank, Total Card Inc., BankFirst, Capital Card Services, HSBC, PREMIER Bankcard, and Wells Fargo.

Credit card fees over the years recently have skyrocketed from $2.6 billion in 1980 to over $22.5 billion in 2006. The kicker that has most ticked off consumer advocates is a practice called "universal default". In this scheme when you are late paying any bill, the credit card company will raise your rate, sending some rates far higher than 20%. There have been many criticisms of this structure including the concept of one lender charging a higher price when their customer defaults with another lender has been compared to having a cartel, or price fixing structure. A major concern to many folks is the possibility that the credit card shown as being in a state of default may not simply be so. It very well could be the result of an error on the part of the credit card issuer. In cases such as this, the consumer may have full legal rights to have their credit report corrected to reflect the truth of the matter, the credit card issuers are under no obligation to revert the interest rate back to what it was before the mistake occured. It simply goes without saying that this sort of position leaves many credit card holders in a state not unlike that of anger. Simply put, this is not right.

There have been attempts by members of congress to simply outlaw universal default. One such congressman was Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. Still, these card companies are also amongst the political party contributors, and seeking meaningful changes such as these in the face of subtle corruption has always been a daunting task. "I've never been able to get a bill passed of any major significance because they're so big and so influential, " says Dodd.

The American Bankers Association, a free-trade and professional association that advocates issues deemed important by the banking industry in the United States has systematically been on the front of protecting the practice of universal default via it's Political Action Committees which use lobbyists to work for laws that are advantageous for the banking industry.

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