Graduated from Bentley University, first in my family to go to college and did not have any guidance on how to pay for it. I got the bill, I filled out the Sallie Mae application to get what I needed. It has completely ruined my life – I can’t go back to continue my education, 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
- 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
- Dept. of Ed. Releases Forms for PubIic Service Loan Forgiveness Program
On January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education released important new information about how student loan borrowers can certify that they are on track toward qualifying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The PSLF website now includes an “employer certification” form, to help borrowers make sure that they are meeting the Department’s requirements to qualify for PSLF. Continue Reading
- 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
- FTC announces $2.5 million fine for unfair debt collection practices
The Federal Trade Commission announced a $2.5 million fine against one of the largest debt buyers in the country for using deceptive practices to collect old debts. ConsumersUnion, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, applauded the FTC’s action but noted that new reforms are needed to protect consumers from unfair debt collection abuses.
- Consumers Union: Get your free credit report
New web page helps consumers get free credit reports, avoid imposter sites
- CFPB Takes Action Against Deferred Interest Credit Provider for Deceptive Practices
We’ve been warning consumers of the dangers of deferred interest credit plans (see here, here and here). There is good news to report for consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against one of the larger companies in this space: CareCredit. CareCredit’s deferred interest credit cards are sold in 175,000 healthcare providers’ offices, Continue Reading
- CFPB Announces Plans to Regulate Student Loan Servicers
Are you currently paying back your student loans? If so, have you ever had problems dealing with companies that process loan payments, provide customer service, and keep track of your paperwork? Well, these companies – called loan “servicers” – are about to get a hard look from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency Continue Reading
- This Holiday Season Watch Out for Deferred Interest Credit Card Traps!
The advertisements are everywhere: “No Interest if paid in full within a specified number of months…” These deferred interest plans sound like a good deal? Not so much. Here’s the trap: if a deferred interest credit card is not paid in full before the specified time, the entire amount of the deferred (unpaid) interest – Continue Reading
- Justice announces record $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Chase
A few weeks ago, Consumers Union first wrote about this pending settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and JP Morgan Chase to resolve allegations that the bank purposely sold faulty securities comprised of poor quality mortgages which failed and contributed to the financial crisis. Just moments ago, the Washington Post announced that the settlement has Continue Reading
- Former FDIC Official Sheila Bair Discovers How a Small Credit Reporting Error Can Have a Big Impact
An inaccurate credit score can be costly. Former FDIC head Sheila Bair recently shared a credit-reporting problem she experienced on CNN Money, and her story shows how a small mistake can result in real damage to credit scores. Bair explains that last year, after writing a check to cover a store credit card bill, the Continue Reading
- New CU report highlights student loan problems using real consumer stories
Today, Consumers Union issued a new report about student loans, using real consumer stories to show how student loan debt is affecting consumers across the U.S. We asked readers like you about their student loan experiences. After reading hundreds of stories, we found that people from all walks of life are grappling with student loan Continue Reading
- New Report Shows International Impact of Credit and Debt on Consumers
Today, Consumers International – a UK-based organization of over 240 member organizations from 120 countries – released a new report entitled Responsible Lending: An International Landscape. According to the report, credit and debt are key issues for consumers around the world – not just here in the U.S. The report includes 15 chapters describing various aspects of Continue Reading
- CFPB Announces Plans to Tighten Rules for Debt Collectors
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has plans to update the rules of the road for debt collectors. In an official notice released this morning, the agency is asking for public comments on how new rules could address the biggest problems in the industry and offer better protections to consumers. Be sure Continue Reading
- Avoid Scams and Get Help with New CFPB Guides
This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released four new booklets aimed at helping the millions of Americans handling the financial affairs of others. The Managing Someone Else’s Money guides help people understand what their responsibilities are when they have power of attorney, or are acting as a court-appointed guardian, or trustee, or government fiduciary (Social Security representative payees and VA Continue Reading
- Scary Scams Targeting Seniors
Con artists, according to the FBI, target seniors because seniors are more likely to have a retirement nest egg, to own their homes, and to have excellent credit. So while anyone can be a victim of fraud, seniors are advised to be particularly vigilant about these scary scams: 1. Investment Schemes Many seniors are concerned Continue Reading