As a result of the financial crisis and its fallout, I lost my job. Like many Americans, my wife and I did the best we could with our finances but we decided she had to declare bankruptcy. We jointly shared a Visa credit card through GTE Financial Credit Union here in Tampa Bay area that Continue Reading
Consumers can get stung by high interest credit cards and predatory lending practices. Find out what to look out for and what we’re doing to protect consumers.
Subtopics of Credit
- 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
- Comments to Dept. of Education on Improving Federal Student Loan Servicing
Re: Request for Information – Title IV Student Loan Servicing Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, appreciates the opportunity to comment in response to the Department’s Request for Information (RFI) regarding the Title IV Student Loan Servicing system. We urge the Department to use this opportunity to improve borrowers’ experiences Continue Reading
- Comments to the Dept of Education Urging Expanded Access to Pay As You Earn, Other Student Loan Reforms for Negotiated Rulemaking
November 4, 2014 Wendy Macias U.S. Department of Education 1990 K St. NW, Room 8017 Washington, DC 20006 Re: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings (Docket ID: ED-2014-OPE-0124) Dear. Ms. Macias: Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports®, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Department’s plans to engage in further negotiated Continue Reading
- Comments to Dept. of Ed. on Definition of PLUS Adverse Credit
Dear Secretary Duncan: Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports®, appreciates the opportunity to comment regarding the Department’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the definition of “adverse credit” for the PLUS loan program. We appreciate the Department’s efforts to balance access to funds with consumer protections. However, as we previously stated Continue Reading
- CU calls on Dept. of Ed. to Hold For-Profit Colleges Accountable with a Strong Gainful Employment Rule
May 27, 2014 Hon. Arne Duncan, Secretary U.S. Department of Education c/o Ashley Higgins 1990 K Street NW, Room 8037 Washington, DC 20006 RE: Program Integrity – Gainful Employment [Docket ID: ED-2014-OPE-0039; RIN: 1840-AD15] Submitted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Secretary Duncan: Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports®, appreciates the opportunity 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.
- Degrees of Debt: Stories from Student Loan Borrowers Highlight Urgent Need for Reform
New CU report features stories from student loan borrowers and offers policy recommendations to restore fairness to the student loan system.
- Free Credit Score Fact Sheet
Know Your Score Fact Sheet Consumers Union is fighting to give consumers access to an annual free, reliable credit score when a free credit report is obtained. Your credit score can determine your eligibility for credit cards, home, car and student loans, and apartment rentals. It can mean the difference between a high interest rate Continue Reading
- Seven Principles for Fair Student Lending
Consumers Union calls on Congress and regulators to protect students investing in their future
- Issue Brief: What to Do Now to Help Student Loan Borrowers
More and more, students and their families are turning to loans to finance higher education. This comes as no surprise, given that the cost of tuition has increased five-fold since 1985. As a result, student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt, topping $1 trillion outstanding. According to recent estimates, student loan borrowers hold over Continue Reading
- CU to CFPB: Some colleges may be violating credit-card law
Thursday, February 19, 2015 Consumers Union to CFPB: Some colleges may be violating credit-card law CARD Act requires colleges to make credit-card marketing agreements available to public, but none of the schools contacted by CU could provide information Washington, D.C. — Some colleges and universities may be violating federal law by failing to make their Continue Reading
- Consumer Reports Rates Best & Worst Prepaid Cards
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Report Issued on Eve of November 13 CFPB Field Hearing on Prepaid Cards; Consumers Union Calls for Reforms to Better Protect Consumers YONKERS, NY – Prepaid cards have become an increasingly popular payment option but it can be challenging for consumers to determine which cards are the most affordable and easiest Continue Reading
- Senators Schatz & Brown introduce bill to improve credit report accuracy and give consumers right to free credit score every year
Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Sherrod Brown (OH) introduced legislation today that would require credit bureaus to follow tighter rules for ensuring credit reports are accurate and give consumers free access to reliable credit scores every year.
- CU testifies for stronger protections against data breaches
At a Senate hearing on preventing data breaches in the wake of incidents reported by Target and Neiman Marcus, CU is calling on lawmakers and businesses to provide consumers with stronger protections from criminals who steal their personal information and commit fraud.
- CU welcomes CFPB move towards cracking down on debt collectors
The CFPB announces plans to create rules for the debt collection industry.
- New CFPB report on credit cards shows CARD Act has reduced credit costs and penalty fees
But CU still has serious concerns about deferred interest credit cards. Some people turn to these cards to cover the cost of big-ticket items
- California Governor Brown Signs Debt Collection Reform Bill
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to strengthen state oversight of the debt buying industry and protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. SB 233, authored by Senator Mark Leno, requires debt buyers to provide consumers and the courts with documentation to prove that a debt is actually owed.
- CFPB report highlights staggering student loan burden and options for making repayment more affordable
Consumers Union urges policymakers to enable students to refinance high interest loans and negotiate affordable repayment plans
- Consumers Union Urges CFPB To Adopt Reforms to Assist Struggling Borrowers Repay Private Student Loans
Flexible Re-Payment & Refinancing Needed For Private Loan Borrowers April 5, 2013 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today to work with private student lenders to make flexible repayment plans and refinancing options available to borrowers. Consumers Union’s proposals are in response Continue Reading
- CU backs bills providing free credit scores
The bills introduced in Congress will require credit scores to be included in your free, annual credit reports
- CFPB Is Helping Consumers Check Their Specialty Credit Reports
Most consumers know that they can check their credit reports with the “big three” credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, once a year, for free, at annualcreditreport.com. But, there are dozens more companies that may collect and report important information about you – and it’s important to check those reports, too. (Note that these specialty agencies aren’t Continue Reading
- “Big 3” Credit Bureaus Settle With 31 States Over Credit Reporting Mistakes
The top credit reporting agencies are going to have to pay up for their credit reporting mistakes! On Wednesday, 31 state attorneys general announced a settlement with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion over credit reporting errors. Not only will they have to pay $6 million to the states, they will also have to take important steps to reduce errors. The Continue Reading
- PayPal Behaving Badly?
CFPB Files Complaint Alleging Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Practices PayPal enrolled people in its credit program, known as Pay Pal Credit (formerly Bill Me Later), without their permission, forced customers to use PayPal Credit even when they indicated they wanted to pay another way, failed to properly process payments, refused to honor and apply Continue Reading
- Judge’s Ruling Finds Bank Misconduct in ’08 Crash
Last week there was an important court ruling against two banks from the Federal District Court in Manhattan related to the impact and role of the sales of securities backed by faulty mortgages in the housing crash of 2008. The New York Times reported on this development. To give the ruling some context, recall that Continue Reading
- ALERT! Wells Fargo Sued for Allegedly Opening Unauthorized Customer Accounts: 3 Things You Can Do
The Los Angeles City Attorney (Mike Feuer) on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging the bank opened up savings and checking accounts and issued credit cards in customers’ names, without authorization. The lawsuit further alleges that Wells Fargo failed to inform customers of the alleged misuse of their personal information and did Continue Reading
- FICO’s Plan to Extend Credit Access Could Harm Those it Claims to Aid
We received some concerning news from the credit-scoring company FICO last week. FICO announced the start of a pilot program to introduce a new credit score based on “alternative” data, such as utilities and phone bills. These types of bills typically have been included in consumers’ three major credit reports only when they have been written off or Continue Reading
- CFPB Answers Our Letter About Possible CARD Act Violations at Schools
We recently told you about our investigation into whether colleges and universities with credit card marketing agreements were making their agreements available to the public. Using information from the CFPB’s college credit card database, we contacted 10 schools with the largest active account volume that did not post their agreements or offer guidance for how Continue Reading
- President Calls for “Student Aid Bill of Rights”
If you’ve got student loans, you know how complex and overwhelming the financial aid system can be – and how tough it is to navigate your way to the best options for paying for college. Luckily, the President appears to be stepping up efforts to stop the madness. Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced a sweeping Continue Reading
- Big Win for Consumers! Top Credit Bureaus to Improve Accuracy
It’s time for consumer advocates to take a much-deserved bow: after years of pressure, the top three credit bureaus have finally agreed to take real steps to improve credit reporting accuracy. Today, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office announced a settlement with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The three major credit bureaus have agreed Continue Reading
- CU Says Colleges May Be Violating CARD Act; Will Colleges Respond?
In the 2000s, colleges and credit card companies got a lot of flack for entering into agreements to aggressively market credit cards to students on campus. After the 2008 financial collapse, Congress passed the CARD Act – which, among other things, requires all schools with credit card agreements to make them available to the public. Continue Reading