U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would reform the U.S. credit card industry to protect consumers.

At a town hall event in the U.S. state of New Mexico Thursday, Mr. Obama said "it is time for reform that is built on transparency, accountability and mutual responsibility."

He said credit card companies too often take advantage of people by imposing sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees.  He said some of the dealings are not honest.

The president said consumers should not have to worry that when they sign up for a credit card they are signing away all their rights.  He said Americans should also be able to see the card's terms of agreement in plain, understandable language.

President Obama urged lawmakers to have a credit card reform bill ready for him to sign by the Memorial Day holiday, which is May 25.

The House of Representatives approved such a bill two weeks ago.  The Senate is currently debating its own version.

Mr. Obama met with leaders of major credit card companies last month to discuss the reforms being considered.

Mr. Obama said he agrees with the companies that consumers must also accept the responsibility that comes with holding a credit card.  He said consumers are expected to make sound choices, live within their means and make payments in a timely manner.