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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 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

  • 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

Press Releases

Blog Posts

  • CFPB Consumer Stories: Repaying Student Debt

    It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s birthday this week – and they sure have been busy lately! As part of its mission to educate consumers about their rights, the CFPB has created some impressive and easy-to-use resources for consumers on a lot of money topics. When it comes to student loans, all too many Continue Reading

  • FICO Expands its Free Credit Score Program to More Consumers

    Looks like consumer demand for more access to free credit scores is catching on: last month, Sallie Mae announced that it was joining FICO’s Open Access program, meaning that it will provide a free credit score each quarter to borrowers who take out “Smart Option” private student loans in the 2014-15 school year. According to Continue Reading

  • Watch-out for Student Loan “Help” That Does More Harm Than Good

    Illinois’ AG goes after companies trying to spring the debt settlement trap on student loan borrowers Student loan debt settlement companies’ advertisements say things like, “Your entire student loan can be forgiven” and “Stop wage garnishment.” But according to lawsuits filed today by the Illinois Attorney General, two companies making those claims aren’t helping consumers. Continue Reading

  • Senate Dems Press Dept. of Ed. on Student Loan Servicers

    It’s no longer news that consumers with student loans are paying high interest rates and struggling to keep up with the financial burdens of going to college in today’s America.  But loan servicers – the companies that process payments and administer loans once borrowers are repaying them – are coming under increasing scrutiny for failing Continue Reading

  • Scam Alert!: For-Profit School Closing, STILL Recruiting Students

    Looks like it’s finally curtains for Corinthian Colleges – the for-profit company behind career colleges like Heald, Everest and WyoTech.  Late last week, the company announced in SEC filings that it was planning to close or sell all of its campuses after the Department of Education decided to slow Corinthian’s access to federal money. The Continue Reading

  • Mississippi’s Suit Against Experian Draws Attention to the Credit Bureau’s Policies

    Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s lawsuit against top consumer reporting agency (“CRA” or “credit bureau”) Experian, which we reported on last week, is continuing to make waves. As a New York Times article posted over the weekend points out, the lawsuit alleges that Experian consistently provided incorrect information on credit reports and often failed to Continue Reading

  • Mississippi Sues Credit Bureau Experian over Extensive Lapses

    The credit bureau Experian is under fire for its credit reporting mistakes that harm consumers’ abilities to obtain credit and employment. The state of Mississippi has sued Experian because of repeated, serious credit reporting errors that can be very difficult to fix. In addition to pointing out concerns over the ways in which Experian puts Continue Reading

  • Reverse Mortgages: Is it true? Can you really keep your house?

    If you’re wondering about the answer to this question, check out this NBC Bay Area news story which aired on June 11th.  Reality Check: Reverse Mortgages Aren’t As Good As They Sound  After watching, make sure to share your experience with reverse mortgages here. Over the years, Consumers Union has written about reverse mortgages and Continue Reading

  • Student Loan Repayment 101

    Whether you’re a new college graduate (congrats!) or someone who is already repaying student loans, it’s important to know all your options for managing your monthly payments.   For federally-backed student loans, you can take advantage of repayment plans that let you pay lower amounts each month to ease the stress of paying the loans. To Continue Reading

  • Senate to Vote on Warren Student Loan Bill

    Millions of student loan borrowers are repaying loans with high interest rates – and that’s something that Senator Warren wants to change. Last month, Senator Warren introduced the Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act, which would let current borrowers refinance their loans down to the lower rates Congress passed in 2013 for new loans.  It’s Continue Reading

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