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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- Comments: Open-End Credit, Bankruptcy Amendments of 2005
December 16, 2005
Comment to Federal Reserve on proposals regarding Open-End Credit Implementation of the Bankruptcy Amendments of 2005, December 16, 2005.
- Risking Homes to Pay Off Credit Cards
November 28, 2005
The fear of overwhelming credit card debt is driving many Americans to hand their equity back to mortgage lenders in the form of "cash-out" refinances. Rather than generating cash to invest in the family's future or cover short term emergencies, cash-out refinances frequently serve as equity-draining transactions that only repay ("consolidate") short-term debts, such as credit card balances. Worse, the benefits of refinancing are often temporary, as homeowners build up additional new credit card debt and start the refinance process again.
- The Plastic Safety Net: The Reality Behind Debt in America
October 12, 2005
This 2005 survey provides new information about why households are in credit card debt, how long they have carried their debt and the impact this debt has had on their economic security. American families are turning to credit cards to make ends meet in an increasingly volatile economy.