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Credit

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


Publications

  • 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: gainfulemploymentregulations@ed.gov 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

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Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • Many Reverse Mortgage Ads Misleading, says CFPB

    On June 4, 2015, the CFPB released a new study concluding that many advertisements for reverse mortgages contain incomplete or inaccurate information that can pose a serious risk to seniors who take out such loans.  The study was issued in conjunction with an advisory to consumers warning them to “watch out for misleading and confusing Continue Reading

  • Is Education Debt Holding You Back?

    The hard part of college was supposed to be passing tests and writing great essays – not meeting the shifting demands of companies taking your loan payments after you get out of school. For millions of former students and their families, paying the bills is already tough.  But the companies that handle loans from your Continue Reading

  • 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

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