Research & Analysis
New National Survey: Credit CARD Act A Success, But Plastic Safety Net Persists
A new national survey by the nonprofit research and advocacy group Demos finds that new credit card rules have succeeded as intended, but that many financially strapped Americans continue to rely on credit cards to buy food, prescriptions and other basic necessities. This is fresh evidence that confirms earlier CRL research, which showed that a majority of low- and middle-income families depend on credit cards to pay for basic living expenses or to deal with unexpected financial emergencies like a doctor’s visit. Scroll down to see CRL’s lastest research that shows new credit card rules have made pricing more transparent and curbed many of the industry’s worst practices—those that used tricks and traps to ensnare cardholders in high-cost interest rates and penalty fees—and that predatory credit card pricing was bad for consumers and for credit card companies.
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- Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works
June 1, 2011
New credit card rules help consumers by making credit card pricing significantly clearer, new CRL research finds. New rules lower costs by spurring competition, making it harder for issuers to manipulate or arbitrarily raise prices.
- Numbers Game: The True Cost of Credit Card Mail Offers
October 25, 2010
Credit card offers have grown increasingly complex over time. Using a straightforward measure of complexity—the total number of numeric figures that appear on a credit card direct mail offer—this report shows that offers to consumers were 2.5 times more complicated in 2009 than in 1999. In an encouraging sign, a decade-long trend toward complexity has eased since implementation of recent reforms contained in the Credit CARD Act of 2009.
- Analysis of Federal Reserve Research on Behavioral Scoring
August 11, 2010
Analysis of Federal Reserve Research on Behavioral Scoring: On “Report to the Congress on Reductions of Consumer Credit Limits Based on Certain Information as to Experience or Transactions of the Consumer”
- A Just Fee or Just a Fee?
June 8, 2010
CRL research report finds that even after the new credit card law and credit card reform, credit card late fees still penalize cardholders while increasing profits for credit card banks and credit card companies. Card issuers find multiple ways to charge customers for late payments that are unrelated to changing borrower behavior or covering losses. Late fees are just another way to raise credit card customer costs.
- Capitalizing on New Credit Card Consumer Protections
May 6, 2010
This brief explains the benefits of credit card reform by showing that cardholders paying more than the credit card minimum payment since the passage of the new credit card law, the Credit CARD Act of 2009, decrease their credit card debt sooner, helps them save more, and improve their credit score.