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
- Post: Credit Report Errors Can Make Getting Credit Difficult and Can Be Hard to Fix
- Post: SECURE Act aims to help protect consumers from credit score gotchas
- Press Release: Senators Schatz & Brown introduce bill to improve credit report accuracy and give consumers right to free credit score every year
- 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
- Credit Report Errors Can Make Getting Credit Difficult and Can Be Hard to Fix
It can be a challenge for a consumer to maintain a good credit history. Unfortunately, sometimes lenders can make it even more difficult by reporting incorrect information to credit bureaus that can damage a consumer’s credit record. Credit report mistakes can have a big impact on consumers. Our recent policy brief, Errors and Gotchas: How Continue Reading
- SECURE Act aims to help protect consumers from credit score gotchas
These days, lenders and others rely heavily on credit scores to make a quick assessment of a consumer’s creditworthiness. But, vulnerable consumers can find themselves tricked into paying more than they had planned, just to find out their own credit scores. In our new policy brief, “Errors and Gotchas: How Credit Report Errors and Unreliable Continue Reading
- The Rates Are Too Damn High: Student Loans About to Get More Expensive
It’s Springtime, and for many students it’s decision time too. College admissions are in full swing, and many students are trying to figure out where to go to school – and how to pay for it. This decision has big financial consequences, as tuition keeps going up and more people have to take out student Continue Reading
- CU Policy Brief Shines a Light on Credit Report Errors and Unreliable Credit Scores
Now more than ever, consumers need credit reports that are fair and accurate, and deserve easy access to the same credit scores lenders use to make decisions about them. That’s because credit report mistakes can make it harder to get a fair rate on a loan or auto insurance or even prevent someone from getting Continue Reading
- Data Breaches Driving You Crazy? California DMV gives consumers new reason to worry.
Uh, oh. It’s happened again: another data breach. Consumers who used the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) online credit card payment system may find their credit card information is at risk. The California DMV’s Public Information Officer, Armando Botello, says that the DMV was “alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue Continue Reading
- Slip Sliding Into Debt: New CFPB Report Confirms Payday Loan Debt Trap
Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new report that chronicles how dangerous the payday loan terrain is for consumers. Payday loans are short term cash advances on the borrower’s next paycheck. The costs can quickly grow if the borrower cannot pay off the loan or needs to borrow a second loan to Continue Reading
- Mortgage Madness Continues? CFPB Receives 4,300 Mortgage Complaints per Month
Last February, Steve Antonakes, Deputy Director of the CFPB, noted that the agency’s “mortgage complaint volume . . . remains high and averages around 4,300 complaints per month.” He made these remarks while speaking before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to a recent blog by Housingwire, these numbers “show little improvement in the volume Continue Reading
- Does Bling equal Ka-ching? A Credit Card for the One Percent
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Would you spend $7500 for a piece of metal in your pocket? Fancy metal credit cards don’t provide any better consumer protection than the plain ol’ plastic. In fact, their fees are often higher. We’ve been seeing some fancy metal cards popping up lately from almost every credit card company, Continue Reading
- CFPB Says Consumers Are Being Hounded for Debts They Don’t Owe
Ever been called by a debt collector about a debt that’s not yours? Well if so, you’re not alone. Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its latest report on the debt collection industry, based on over 30,000 complaints received since July 2013, and found that these kinds of abuses are all too common. Continue Reading
- For-Profit Career Colleges Under Fire for Alleged Fraud, Predatory Lending Practices
It’s been a bad week for career colleges – those for-profit schools that promise to help you find a rewarding career in a specific field like auto tech, nursing, or cosmetology. Two big court cases have just been announced targeting for-profit schools that may have done little more than put their students into mountains of Continue Reading