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
A comprehensive credit card law is now in place that will help end the tricks that trap consumers in high-cost credit card debt. You can learn more about these key rights below. Click here to see when different provisions of the law go into effect.
The new credit card law includes these consumer protections:
Restricts all interest rate increases during the first year
Restricts interest rate increases on existing balances
Increases notice for rate increase on future purchases
Preserves the ability to pay off on the old terms
Requires fair application of payments
Provides sensible due dates and time to pay
Protects young consumers
Restricts issuance fees on fee harvester cards
Requires enhanced disclosures
Places limits on fees and penalty interest
Requires banks to review rate increase every six months
Establishes gift card protections
- Group letter to banking agencies recommending enforcement action under the CARD Act
July 7, 2010 By Fax (202-452–3819) and First Class Mail The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20551 Dear Chairman Bernanke: The undersigned groups are contacting you to request that the Federal Reserve Board examine the banks under its supervision Continue Reading
- Summary of Fed’s Final Rule on August Provisions of CARD Act
The Federal Reserve Board has issued its proposed regulations governing the final sections of the CARD Act which go into effect August 22, 2010.
- Paper statement fees?! What to do about this latest trick
We’ve heard from a number of consumers on our previous blog, Paper statement fees?! Credit card issuers’ latest trick about their frustrations with receiving their bills in the mail and surprise(!) are charged a fee for it.
- CU comment to the FRB on Regulation Z proposed rule
Regulation Z: Truth in Lending, Federal Reserve Board Docket No. R-1384
- Summary of Fed’s proposal for final CARD Act provisions
Federal Reserve Board Proposed Rule, Regulation Z March 2010 The Federal Reserve Board has issued its proposed regulations governing the final sections of the CARD Act which go into effect August 22, 2010. The Agency will be accepting public comment on the following provisions which relate to the size of penalty fees and the process Continue Reading
- A Consumer’s Guide to Using Credit Cards
As a consumer, it pays to be smart when choosing and using a credit card. Click the link below to access a site maintained by the Federal Reserve Board which provides a basic guide to navigating the credit card process. – Learning more about credit card offers – Understanding your statement – Credit card repayment Continue Reading
- Have you been ripped off by the big banks or other lenders?
Have you been hit with unexpected fees that drain your bank account? Have you taken out a loan that turned out to be full of tricks and traps? Consumers Union wants to hear your story because it will help us illustrate why consumers deserve stronger protection. Tell us your story so we can build support for real reform that helps consumers not the big banks!
- What You Need to Know: New Credit Card Rules
The Federal Reserve Board’s new rules for credit card companies mean new credit card protections for you. Here is the Board’s summary of the key changes you should expect from your credit card company beginning on February 22, 2010.
- Credit Card Comments to the Federal Reserve
Consumers Union asks the Federal Reserve to make sure credit card companies don’t try to get around the new limits on rate increases and fees through creative new charge schemes or other unfair demands on customers.
- We got the credit card banks on the run!
Your complaints over interest rate hikes, ridiculous new fees and higher minimum payments were heard loud and clear! The House just froze rate hikes on your credit card balances, and gave you new protections starting Dec. 1 — just in time for the holidays. Now we need the Senate to hear us and do the same! Email your Senators right now and tell them you can’t afford to wait for a February law to stop the credit card companies’ abusive tactics.
- CU to CFPB: Some colleges may be violating credit-card law
Thursday, February 19, 2015 Consumers Union to CFPB: Some colleges may be violating credit-card law CARD Act requires colleges to make credit-card marketing agreements available to public, but none of the schools contacted by CU could provide information Washington, D.C. — Some colleges and universities may be violating federal law by failing to make their 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
- On CARD Act’s 5th anniversary, Consumers Union calls for new reforms by CFPB
On the fifth anniversary of the Credit CARD Act, a historic federal law to prevent unfair and abusive practices by credit card companies, CU is asking the CFPB to build upon the success of the law with new reforms to protect cardholders.
- 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 urges CFPB to launch investigation into Target security breach
CU asked the CFPB for a full investigation into the massive security breach at Target Corporation, which may have compromised more than 40 million credit and debit cards.
- 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
- CU praises FTC crackdown on “Cardholder Services” robocalls
Five companies are accused of making millions of illegal calls to pitch deceptive offers
- Consumers Union praises CFPB enforcement action against American Express for illegal credit card practices
The investigation found American Express had violated consumer protection laws
- Consumers Union: Discover Settlement with FDIC, CFPB sends strong message that “watchdogs are on the job”
Discover penalized for deceptive marketing; Consumers eligible for refunds do not need to take further action
- CFPB’s credit card complaint database goes public
Financial watchdog is considering adding complaints about other financial products to the public database
- CFPB Answers Our Letter About Possible CARD Act Violations at Schools
We recently told you about our investigation into whether colleges and universities with credit card marketing agreements were making their agreements available to the public. Using information from the CFPB’s college credit card database, we contacted 10 schools with the largest active account volume that did not post their agreements or offer guidance for how Continue Reading
- 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
- 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
- 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
- From Strip to Chip: New Payment Cards Are Coming
Your payment cards may look different in 2015. Card issuers are rolling out cards with smart chip (also known as EMV) technology. The chips – little gold micro processors that are built into the card (see picture) – make payment cards more secure, but consumers will have to adapt in order to use them. The Continue Reading
- Another Day, Another Data Breach
What to Do If You Recently Shopped at Staples or bebe Have you shopped at bebe or Staples recently? If the answer is yes, your payment card information could be at risk. Both chains confirmed security breaches in which crooks are suspected of stealing customers’ payment card information. After data breaches such these, consumers are 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
- New Payment Cards Are Ahead
SF’s District Attorney Launches a Program to Make Sure Everyone’s Ready San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón wants to make sure that consumers and businesses understand smart card (sometimes called EMV or chip) payment technology. Consumers are vulnerable to fraud because crooks have learned how to outwit traditional credit and debit card security systems, and steal Continue Reading
- Out For Their Piece Of The Pie?
The Most Important Thing You Need To Know About Apple Pay (And Any Other Mobile Wallet) American consumers make 73 payments a month, on average – and Apple, maker of the uber-popular iPhone, wants a piece of the action. That’s why Apple is launching its own mobile wallet Apple Pay on Monday October 20. Apple Continue Reading
- Fed proposes limits on credit card penalty fees Source: AP (Wednesday March 3, 2010)
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday proposed strict limits on penalty fees and other charges that credit card companies can slap on customers for missteps such as late payments or going over credit limits.
- A proposal for reining in credit card fees Source: New York Times (Wednesday March 3, 2010)
Rule calls for credit card issuers to revisit interest rate increases made during the last year — and there have been many — to determine if the increases were still justified.
- What Fed proposal does, doesn't do Source: USA Today (Monday March 8, 2010)
The Fed’s proposal gives the card industry a “big out” when evaluating whether consumers’ interest rates should be lowered
- Bank credit card fees keep going up
In recent months, many issuers have raised interest rates for borrowers even as the Federal Reserve has cut rates. They’re doing so ahead of a federal regulation that takes effect next year, curtailing their ability to raise rates on existing credit card debt, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com.
- The reason behind Capital One's rate increase
Last month, Capital One raised some eyebrows by significantly increasing their rates on new customers on the majority of their credit cards. The advertised annual percentage rate on these 15 cards increased from an average of 12.45 percent to 17.24 percent. One could ask, “What’s left in your wallet?”
- How to lower your credit card interest rate
If you have a credit card, you might be getting a letter in the mail with some bad news: your credit card company is jacking up your interest rate. Never mind if you’ve been an excellent customer, whose always paid your bills on time. Some of the biggest credit card companies, including Capital One, Citibank, and HSBC, are now raising rates on millions of customers.
- Credit card firms continue to raise interest rates and fees
Has the interest rate on your credit card gone up recently? If so, you’re not alone. In the past several months, a number of credit card companies have instituted changes to customers’ accounts, increasing rates and tacking on fees.
- House of Cards
These tactics are not going to improve the credit-card industry’s dismal reputation. They’re also not going to help an economy in recession, since reduced credit lines take away an important cushion for consumer spending, and higher interest rates and increased fees are likely to drive more people to default.
- American Express, Chase cut card limits lowering credit scores
About 45 percent of U.S. banks reduced credit limits for new or existing credit-card customers in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a Federal Reserve January survey of senior loan officers. Financial institutions may slash $2 trillion in credit- card lines in the next 18 months, Meredith Whitney, a former Oppenheimer & Co. analyst, wrote in a Nov. 30 report.
- Buy something, or else
One of the biggest causes of the financial crisis was that Americans were borrowing (and spending) more money than they could afford to pay back. So how are credit-card issuers reacting to consumers’ attempts to live a more financially responsible lifestyle? They’re threatening to cut their credit cards off if they don’t spend enough.