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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

  • 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

  • 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

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Blog Posts

  • Have You Received Your Free FICO Score?

    Consumers are finally seeing substantial progress in the credit score market. They’ve long faced real challenges in getting the same credit score that their banks and lenders purchased when making lending decisions about them. But over the past year, millions of Americans have gained access to free, reliable credit scores. Recently, President Obama announced that more Continue Reading

  • Thinking About a Reverse Mortgage? Californians Get New Protections in 2015

    Wondering if a reverse mortgage is right for you?  Reverse mortgages are home loans that allow eligible homeowners, 62 years of age or older, to tap into their home equity.  While that friendly reverse mortgage salesperson can be helpful, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says you should not rely only on the advice you Continue Reading

  • Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Buy the Right Mortgage Too

    Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released some new online tools to help you shop for a mortgage.  The home buying process can be daunting, with so many decisions to make as you move through unfamiliar and high-dollar territory.  That may explain why a new CFPB investigation found that nearly half of all home buyers Continue Reading

  • New Offerings from Credit Karma and Experian Not as Helpful as they Appear

    Many consumers make a New Year’s resolution to check their credit reports and scores. We’re all in favor of that, especially as Consumer Reports recently found that just under half of Americans have never checked one of their credit reports from the credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. This year, two companies say they will Continue Reading

  • Thirty-Five Things in 12 Months: CFPB Working for You–2014 in Review

    As this year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the many actions the CFPB has taken to defend your rights as a consumer of financial services and products.  The CFPB has a tough job, as we all know, and they’ve done it well.  They are an indispensable Continue Reading

  • Sham Alert: CFPB Sues to Stop Business “Built on Duping Consumers”

    A red-hot Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking on another bad actor. The latest: a lawsuit against a company that allegedly tricks consumers into signing-up for what they may think is a use-anywhere credit card but is in fact a paper membership card that can only be used to buy from the company, Union Continue Reading

  • CU and Others Urge Feds to Protect Students During Sale of For-Profit College Campuses

    Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit college chain that operates Heald, Everest and WyoTech campuses, has made the headlines a lot lately for their financial troubles and questionable college programs – not to mention being sued by the CFPB recently for its student loan practices.  Now they’re poised to sell 56 of their failing campuses – but Continue Reading

  • CFPB Takes Action to Shut Down Illegal Student “Debt Relief” Scams

    Big news today from the CFPB! – they are putting an end to two student “debt relief” scams that illegally tricked borrowers into paying upfront fees for federal loan benefits. The CFPB, in a joint filing with Florida’s Attorney General, shut down student debt relief company College Education Services and separately filed a lawsuit against Student Loan Continue Reading

  • Deputy Treasury Secretary calls for better student loan servicing

    Student loan borrowers know all too well how tough it can be to get information or resolve issues with servicers that manage their loans after they leave school. Turns out, the Treasury Department is listening. In a speech given last week at the annual National Consumer Law Center conference, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin Continue Reading

  • CFPB Says Consumers with Private Student Loans Can’t Get a Break

    The sticker price for going to college just keeps getting bigger these days – sometimes, even exhausting your options for federal grants and student loans won’t cover it.  So some students have to turn to private loans – from banks, or big firms like Sallie Mae, to make up the difference.  But those loans are Continue Reading

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