So as to reduce our balance, my wife and I paid over $3,000 toward our Bank of America MasterCard charge account which has a maximum limit of $6,200. For this particular account, I have automatic deduction of $150 per month which is part of our strategy to keep our balance bearable. Generally, however, we keep Continue Reading
Some bank accounts come with hidden fees and complicated terms which often end up costing you. Consumers Union advocates for upfront pricing and fair practices so that you don’t end up losing your deposits.
- CU Comments of CFPB’s “Safe Student Account” Initiative
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Bureau’s initiative to create a “Safe Student Account Scorecard” for schools to use when negotiating campus banking agreements with financial institutions. We believe this initiative is an important step toward improving the quality and transparency of campus banking Continue Reading
- Campus Banking Products: College Students Face Hurdles to Accessing Clear Information and Accounts that Meet Their Needs
College students face a variety of options on campus for accessing financial products. As regulations around the marketing of private student loans and school-branded credit cards have tightened in recent years, financial firms have increasingly marketed campus banking products to colleges, universities, and their students. Financial aid refund disbursement services, student ID cards linked to Continue Reading
- CU Urges Dept. of Education to Protect College Students Using Campus Debit Cards
This memo explains the varying protections that apply to debit and prepaid cards, and urges the Department of Education to provide strong protections to students using “campus debit cards” to access their financial aid. Read full memo here.
- Trapped at the bank: Removing obstacles to consumer choice in banking
New Consumers Union report shows what banks do to make it hard for you to move your money and what policymakers should do to make it easier. Download pdf.
- The Move Your Money Checklist: The 5 things you need to know before you switch banks
Breaking up is hard to do, so read our quick checklist before you switch banks. Download pdf.
- Urging OCC to withdraw proposed bank payday & overdraft guidance
January 11, 2012 Mr. John Walsh Acting Comptroller Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 250 E Street, SW Mail Stop 2-3 Washington, DC 20219 Re: OCC Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products, Docket ID OCC-2011-0012 Dear Acting Comptroller Walsh: We write to urge the OCC to withdraw its proposed guidance on payday loans offered Continue Reading
- Letter from JP Morgan Chase to CU on its debit card fee test program
October 24, 2011 Norma P. Garcia Senior Attorney Manager, Financial Services Program Consumers Union West Coast Office 1535 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103-2512 Dear Ms. Garcia: Thank you for your October 17, 2011 letter to JPMorgan Chase’s Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, regarding Chase’s Customized Checking test. We appreciate your feedback and are pleased Continue Reading
- Bank of America: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee
October 17, 2011 Brian T. Moynihan Chief Executive Officer and President Bank of America Corporation 401 N Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202 Re: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee Dear Mr. Moynihan: Recent news accounts have indicated that Bank of America will begin charging many of its checking account customers a $5 monthly fee Continue Reading
- SunTrust Banks, Inc: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee
October 17, 2011 William H. Rogers, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer SunTrust Banks, Inc. 303 Peachtree Street Northeast Atlanta, GA 30308-3201 Re: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee Dear Mr. Rogers: Recent news accounts have indicated that SunTrust Bank will charge Basic Everyday Checking Account customers a $5 per month fee in any Continue Reading
- Wells Fargo & Co: Drop the $3 Debit Card Usage Fee Pilot
Letter to CEO to drop the $3 debit card usage fee pilot
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cracks down on for-profit Corinthian Colleges for alleged “predatory lending scheme”
Consumers Union praised the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its tough action against the for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
- CR: Campus banking account fees can add up and are not always clearly disclosed
Just as millions of students return to college, a new CR investigation of campus banking products found that fees can vary widely and that costs can add up for those who use their cards frequently and don’t enjoy easy access to in-network ATMs.
- CU urges CFPB to launch investigation into Target security breach
CU asked the CFPB for a full investigation into the massive security breach at Target Corporation, which may have compromised more than 40 million credit and debit cards.
- CU endorses legislation to make it simpler for consumers to switch banks
Consumers Union report “Trapped at the Bank” highlights problems consumers face when they try to close bank accounts, move money to another institution
- CU survey: 74 percent of consumers support approval of a CFPB Director
It’s time for the Senate to listen to consumers, stop stalling and confirm Richard Cordray.
- CFPB report highlights need for stronger checking account overdraft reforms
Consumers Union urges financial watchdog to rein in overdraft abuses
- Consumers Union Urges Senate Committee to Confirm Cordray
March 11, 2013 Consumers Union Urges Senate Committee to Confirm Cordray WASHINGTON, DC – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, sent a letter to members of the Senate today urging them to confirm Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The letter comes as the Senate Banking Committee prepares Continue Reading
- CU: Switching banks still challenging for consumers
One year after Bank Transfer Day, Consumers Union renews call for reforms to help make switching banks easier
- Bank of America to stop “zombie account” practice on closed accounts
Consumers Union hails decision but bank switching obstacles remain
- CR survey: One in five considered moving their checking account to a new bank in the past year
Survey highlights top impediments to switching and reforms that would make consumers more likely to move their money
- A Better Day for Mobile Pay? Google Wallet Adds FDIC Insurance
Good news for consumers who store funds directly in a Google Wallet: your funds are will soon be protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Insurance, according to press reports. In general terms, deposit insurance makes sure that consumers don’t lose money if the bank where their money Continue Reading
- Alert: Facebook’s New P2P Terms of Service Say You’re On Your Own If Things Don’t Work Out
In March, Facebook announced the launch of a payments feature for its Messenger application. It allows users to send each other money with just a message, just like this image from Facebook’s press release about this new service: In order for the transaction to go through, of course, you have to have money available to Continue Reading
- Leader of Mortgage Relief Scam Gets 24 Year Prison Sentence
Over the years, Consumers Union has spoken to countless homeowners who were duped by fraud artists who promised to rescue them from losing their homes to foreclosure. Their stories are heartbreaking of how the scam artists preyed upon their desperate situation, took their money, and left them worse off. That’s why it is very good Continue Reading
- CFPB Announces “Scorecard” For Campus Banking Products
In a new effort to protect students being marketed campus banking products, the CFPB announced today that it is developing a “Safe Student Account Scorecard” for schools. The Scorecard will give schools a roadmap to negotiating a better deal for students when choosing a financial institution to offer bank accounts or prepaid cards on campus. We’ve Continue Reading
- Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Buy the Right Mortgage Too
Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released some new online tools to help you shop for a mortgage. The home buying process can be daunting, with so many decisions to make as you move through unfamiliar and high-dollar territory. That may explain why a new CFPB investigation found that nearly half of all home buyers Continue Reading
- Thirty-Five Things in 12 Months: CFPB Working for You–2014 in Review
As this year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the many actions the CFPB has taken to defend your rights as a consumer of financial services and products. The CFPB has a tough job, as we all know, and they’ve done it well. They are an indispensable Continue Reading
- From Strip to Chip: New Payment Cards Are Coming
Your payment cards may look different in 2015. Card issuers are rolling out cards with smart chip (also known as EMV) technology. The chips – little gold micro processors that are built into the card (see picture) – make payment cards more secure, but consumers will have to adapt in order to use them. The Continue Reading
- 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
- 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
- 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