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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 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

Blog Posts

  • 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

  • Victory! California Governor Signs Reverse Mortgage Protection Bill, AB 1700 (Medina)

    Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1700 (Medina), a first-in-the nation bill, that will put important information in the hands of Californians while they are considering a reverse mortgage.  Ensuring a fair reverse mortgage marketplace is a Consumers Union priority.  We are very pleased to share this good news with you. If you’ve been Continue Reading

  • It’s Time for Student Loan Servicers to Clean up Their Act

    Are you currently paying back your student loans?  If so, have you ever had problems dealing with the companies – called “servicers” – that process loan payments, provide customer service, and keep track of your paperwork? Well, whether or not they’re helping you, they’re still getting paid – by the federal government.  The Department of Continue Reading

  • CFPB Targets Auto Lender for False Credit Reports

    An estimated one out of every five Americans has a mistake on one of their credit reports, which have sadly become an all-too-frequent occurrence for consumers. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working to change that: it’s rebuking an auto lender for reporting faulty information to the credit bureaus for years. On Wednesday, the Continue Reading

  • CFPB Defends Troops Against Predatory Lenders

    More proof that the CFPB is standing up for consumers: the CFPB has permanently stopped a lender that has been preying on soldiers and trying to evade regulators for years. The CFPB, along with 13 state attorneys general, took action against Colfax Capital Corporation and Culver Capital LLC, together called “Rome Finance,” for tricking servicemembers and other consumers Continue Reading

  • New Animated Video Series Helps Consumers Facing Debt Collection Lawsuits

    By Guest Blogger Marc Priester The debt collection industry has come under fire in recent years for using strong-arm tactics to get people to pay debts – whether they actually owe them or not.  Sometimes it’s the excessive phone calls and illegal threats.  In other cases, debt collectors use the court system to ratchet up the pressure. Last Continue Reading

  • Tackling Mortgage Problems: CFPB on Your Side

    Although foreclosures in the United States are down, many consumers seeking relief still have serious problems with their mortgage lenders and loan servicers. If you are a struggling homeowner and can’t get help from your bank or loan servicer, get the CFPB on your side.  The consumer protection agency, which celebrates it anniversary this week, is actively Continue Reading

  • 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

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