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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 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

  • 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

  • CU Says Colleges May Be Violating CARD Act; Will Colleges Respond?

    In the 2000s, colleges and credit card companies got a lot of flack for entering into agreements to aggressively market credit cards to students on campus.  After the 2008 financial collapse, Congress passed the CARD Act – which, among other things, requires all schools with credit card agreements to make them available to the public. Continue Reading

  • More Millenials Still Living with Parents – Thanks to Student Debt

    Things are supposed to be looking up these days – more jobs and economic growth are good news, right?  But there’s still a huge problem facing “millenials,” or people aged 25 to 34: student debt is making it harder for them to scrape together enough money to move out of the family basement. The New Continue Reading

  • Feds Get $480 Million in Relief for Corinthian College Students

    This week brought big news for students who’ve attended the infamous Corinthian Colleges, which operate under the names Heald, WyoTech and Everest.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Education announced a $480 million deal with ECMC, the company that’s buying up several Corinthian campuses, to bring immediate relief to past and Continue Reading

  • Subprime Credit Card Company Ordered to Return Millions

    Continental Finance Company, a company that markets credit cards to folks with dinged-up credit, agreed today to refund an estimated $2.7 million to tens of thousands of customers to compensate them for illegal fees and charges, according to a consent order Continental signed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Continental credit cards carried annual Continue Reading

  • 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

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