As a result of the financial crisis and its fallout, I lost my job. Like many Americans, my wife and I did the best we could with our finances but we decided she had to declare bankruptcy. We jointly shared a Visa credit card through GTE Financial Credit Union here in Tampa Bay area that 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
- 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: email@example.com 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
- Senators Schatz & Brown introduce bill to improve credit report accuracy and give consumers right to free credit score every year
Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Sherrod Brown (OH) introduced legislation today that would require credit bureaus to follow tighter rules for ensuring credit reports are accurate and give consumers free access to reliable credit scores every year.
- CU testifies for stronger protections against data breaches
At a Senate hearing on preventing data breaches in the wake of incidents reported by Target and Neiman Marcus, CU is calling on lawmakers and businesses to provide consumers with stronger protections from criminals who steal their personal information and commit fraud.
- 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
- 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
- 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