In order to facilitate and elaborately present the terms and conditions of credit card usage, every credit card is required to have a box with the regulations, rules, fees and rates. This is a so called Schumer Box and the presence of this box is a requirement of TILA (Federal Truth in Lending Act).
All credit companies are required to use the same, standard form of the Schumer box so that the confusion and misrepresentation would be avoided. That way the box is easily noticeable and the client are able to compare the fees and rates with their credit cards. According to the regulations, credit card companies must always print long term rate info in 18 point type, while the remaining terms have to be printed in 12 point type.
The box got its name after Mr. Charles Schumer and although it is also known by other names (transparency box, consumer box, summery box, honesty box and clarity box) the most popular title for this box remains Schumer. The gentleman in question was a New York Congressmen who designed the legislation according to which every credit card had to introduce the Schumer Box and the related information in a clear and obvious manner. The legislation appeared on the scene in 1988, but it became active only 12 years later, in 2000. The reason behind the creation of this regulation was obvious – with a presentation of such information in a straightforward and concise manner, the holders and future users of the credit cards will be able to understand and contrast the rates and extra charges with different credit card offers.
Schumer box is the first thing to examine when applying for credit card. It will contain all the notification regarding the annual percentage rate (both promotional and the regular ones), annual maintaining fees, minimum payments required, calculation of your unsettled balance etc. Only once you compare the info from different Schumer boxes, will you be able to make a final decision on which credit card meets your needs and what terms respond to your particular life style and financial state.
The crucial data that can be found inside the Schumer box relates also fee for foreign purchases (and other possible fees, as well as the information regarding the actions that can provoke the default annual percentage rates to increase. These include untimely payments, payments that are not honoured for some reason, crossing the credit line etc. It also contains the info about how to do the variable terms calculations and where to find the formulas. And of course, the notes in regards to rates, terms and fees changes are added to Schumer box as well.
The aforementioned info is standard content of the Schumer box, however, fine print can include much more than that and you can even be referred to dispute resolutions and arbitrators, double billing cycles etc.