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.
- 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
- JPMorgan Chase & Co: Drop the $3 Debit Card Usage Fee Pilot
Letter to CEO requesting dropping the $3 debit card usage fee pilot
- 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
- CU Report: Switching banks hard for consumers
New CU report details obstacles to switching banks that stifle consumer choice and reforms for making it easier
- CFPB Working for You: Helping Young People Make Smart Financial Decisions
It’s back to school time, and parents and kids are gearing up for a new year. But while kids may be getting great instruction in math, science, and writing at school, they don’t usually learn basic skills like how to manage a checking account or credit card. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) points Continue Reading
- Banks Fight Claims They Have “Secretive” Contracts with College Campuses
Are you or someone you know preparing to go to college? If so, you many find banks and other financial firms offering you student accounts for getting your financial aid or managing your money. That’s because more and more colleges are entering into agreements with these firms to sell products to students on campus. The Continue Reading
- CFPB Working for You: New Report Shows How Overdraft Fees are like a 17000% APR Loan
Consumers have made it clear: they’re fed up with overdraft fees. Unreasonable and high overdraft fees can be disastrous for consumers like James of Aliquippa, PA, who wrote to us: “[M]y bank has charged me in overdraft fees roughly $5,122.00 over the last 24 months . . .These are strictly overdraft fees charged by the Continue Reading
- CFPB Working For You: Empowering Low-Income Consumers
It’s not unusual to feel bewildered when faced with complicated banking fee policies or pages of fine print when you’re trying to get a loan. Many consumers worry that they don’t have enough financial savvy to reach their goals. We’ve heard from frustrated consumers like Yolia of Washington, DC, who told us that money concerns Continue Reading
- Operation Choke Point Helps Crack Down on Scammers
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally taking action against banks that allow fraudsters to operate. But the agency’s anti-scam effort is under attack. Under Operation Choke Point (OCP), the DOJ investigates financial services providers, like banks and payment processors, that continue to knowingly honor illegal transactions despite unambiguous signs of fraud. In January 2014, Continue Reading
- IS ITT the new ATM? The reality of Interactive Teller Technology
By Guest Blogger Caitlin Watkins The new interactive teller technology (ITT) is popping up in big banks and community credit unions alike. This service provides live human remote customer service in the renovated Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).This banking technology definitely has its benefits, but it also coincides with some setbacks. Overall, the service is Continue Reading
- SECURE Act aims to help protect consumers from credit score gotchas
These days, lenders and others rely heavily on credit scores to make a quick assessment of a consumer’s creditworthiness. But, vulnerable consumers can find themselves tricked into paying more than they had planned, just to find out their own credit scores. In our new policy brief, “Errors and Gotchas: How Credit Report Errors and Unreliable Continue Reading
- CU Policy Brief Shines a Light on Credit Report Errors and Unreliable Credit Scores
Now more than ever, consumers need credit reports that are fair and accurate, and deserve easy access to the same credit scores lenders use to make decisions about them. That’s because credit report mistakes can make it harder to get a fair rate on a loan or auto insurance or even prevent someone from getting Continue Reading
- Data Breaches Driving You Crazy? California DMV gives consumers new reason to worry.
Uh, oh. It’s happened again: another data breach. Consumers who used the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) online credit card payment system may find their credit card information is at risk. The California DMV’s Public Information Officer, Armando Botello, says that the DMV was “alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue Continue Reading
- Mortgage Madness Continues? CFPB Receives 4,300 Mortgage Complaints per Month
Last February, Steve Antonakes, Deputy Director of the CFPB, noted that the agency’s “mortgage complaint volume . . . remains high and averages around 4,300 complaints per month.” He made these remarks while speaking before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to a recent blog by Housingwire, these numbers “show little improvement in the volume Continue Reading