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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Consumer Reports Rates Best & Worst Prepaid Cards
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Report Issued on Eve of November 13 CFPB Field Hearing on Prepaid Cards; Consumers Union Calls for Reforms to Better Protect Consumers YONKERS, NY – Prepaid cards have become an increasingly popular payment option but it can be challenging for consumers to determine which cards are the most affordable and easiest 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.
- 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