Defend Your Dollars: Share this site! We support reforms to the financial marketplace to curb bad practices by banks and lenders.

Free FICO scores on the way for Citi cardholders

Great news for those of you with Citi credit cards: starting in January, Citigroup will begin giving its credit card customers a free FICO score – the very same one Citi uses to set interest rates. This will give consumers free access to an important tool to better manage their credit. Keeping a good credit Continue Reading

Posted by Maureen Mahoney in CFPB, Credit Reports | No Comments »

Executive Order Puts Federal Government Ahead Of Many Banks And Retailers In Moving to Chip and PIN

In response to the spate recent data breaches – Home Depot, Kmart and Dairy Queen have all reported breaches in the last month alone – President Obama announced a series of initiatives to improve consumer security on Friday. From a payments safety perspective, the most important is the Executive Order (EO) directing the federal government Continue Reading

Posted by Christina Tetreault in Uncategorized | No Comments »

CFPB Working for You: Student Loan Help for Volunteers

Do you dream of serving your country as a Peace Corps volunteer, but are worried that you won’t be able to pay back your student loans? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is here to help. About a quarter of American workers are involved in public service. Many of them have joined the military, volunteered Continue Reading

Posted by Maureen Mahoney in CFPB, Student Loans | No Comments »

Out For Their Piece Of The Pie?

The Most Important Thing You Need To Know About Apple Pay (And Any Other Mobile Wallet) American consumers make 73 payments a month, on average – and Apple, maker of the uber-popular iPhone, wants a piece of the action. That’s why Apple is launching its own mobile wallet Apple Pay on Monday October 20. Apple Continue Reading

Posted by Christina Tetreault in Credit Cards, Payments | No Comments »

CFPB Says Consumers with Private Student Loans Can’t Get a Break

The sticker price for going to college just keeps getting bigger these days – sometimes, even exhausting your options for federal grants and student loans won’t cover it.  So some students have to turn to private loans – from banks, or big firms like Sallie Mae, to make up the difference.  But those loans are Continue Reading

Posted by Suzanne Martindale in Credit, Student Loans | No Comments »

Richmond’s Prepaid Card: Consumers May Do Better Elsewhere

Last week, the city of Richmond, California, launched an identification card that comes with an optional prepaid card feature. It’s run by the same company behind the Oakland City ID-prepaid card hybrid that launched last year. We were critical of the original Oakland ID-prepaid card because the prepaid card was loaded with fees, making it Continue Reading

Posted by Christina Tetreault in Government Issued Cards, Payments, Prepaid Cards | No Comments »

Bank Fees Ascend to Record Highs

Another year, another disappointing result from Bankrate’s annual bank survey: several fees are continuing to creep up to record highs. According to the AP, Bankrate found that both out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft fees are up yet again this year. The average overdraft fee is up 1.7% from last year, to $32.74. In comparison, last Continue Reading

Posted by Maureen Mahoney in Banking | No Comments »

Victory! California Governor Signs Reverse Mortgage Protection Bill, AB 1700 (Medina)

Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1700 (Medina), a first-in-the nation bill, that will put important information in the hands of Californians while they are considering a reverse mortgage.  Ensuring a fair reverse mortgage marketplace is a Consumers Union priority.  We are very pleased to share this good news with you. If you’ve been Continue Reading

Posted by Norma Garcia in CFPB, Credit, Mortgages, Uncategorized | No Comments »

CFPB Cracks Down on U.S. Bank’s Crummy Practices

Nearly half a million U.S. Bank customers will get money back for the bank’s bad habit of selling consumers services that it did not provide, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today. The CFPB is ordering U.S. Bank to return $48 million to the 420,000 customers it enrolled in identity protection and credit monitoring Continue Reading

Posted by Christina Tetreault in Banking, CFPB, Credit Cards, Debt Collection | No Comments »

No Overdraft Checking Account Coming To Walmart

Green Dot’s mobile bank account, GoBank, will soon be available at Walmart stores. We think this is good news for consumers, as GoBank offers transparent, low-fee, no-overdraft, fully-federally protected checking accounts. Recently a number of banks, including Bank of America, Key Bank and Citi, have begun to offer low-fee, no overdraft accounts. As with GoBank, Continue Reading

Posted by Christina Tetreault in Banking, Prepaid Cards | No Comments »