Credit and Prepaid Card News
The latest news on the credit card and prepaid card industry from the Center for Responsible Lending.
- Households Cut Overall Debt, But Student Loans Jump
Wall Street Journal 14 May 2013
U.S. households lowered their debt loads during the year's first quarter, although student loan borrowing continued to climb, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total indebtedness fell by 1 percent from the previous quarter to $11.23 trillion. Total mortgage debt was down to $7.93 trillion, from $8.03 trillion in the three months prior; while credit card balances fell by $19 billion to $660 billion. Auto loans, however, were up by $11 billion; and student loan borrowing snowballed by a staggering $20 billion...
- Card Add-on Products Stage a Comeback
Fox Business 08 May 2013
Credit card "add-on" products suffered from regulatory restrictions last year; but analysts say they could bounce back, with tighter marketing pitches and lower price...
- Credit Cards Are Offering Lower Interest Rates and Higher Cash Back Bonuses to Those With Good Credit
New York Daily News 17 Apr 2013
Due to an improving economy and more competition among credit card issuers, card holders with good credit are being rewarded with lower interest rates and more generous sign-up bonuses, according to a new report from CardHub.com. For those with the best credit, the average interest rate was 12.79 percent in the first three months of 2013, down 1.69 percent from the last quarter of 2012...
- N.Y. AG Lawsuit Says Credit Card Scam Targeted Union Members
Reuters 16 Apr 2013
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued Dallas-based Union Workers Credit Services, claiming that it bilked union workers with false credit card offers. The lawsuit, filed April 12, accused the company of targeting union members with a pre-approved platinum credit card, for a fee...
- Paying Your Taxes by Credit Card? Beware the Fees
Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) 10 Apr 2013
Filers who wind up with a tax bill instead of a return have the option of using plastic to settle up with the IRS. Although doing so is perfectly safe, it is not free...
- Senators Seek to Cap Interest Rates on Consumer Loans
The Hill 09 Apr 2013
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and several other Democratic colleagues have proposed a bill to set an interest rate and fee limit of 36 percent for all open- and closed-end consumer credit transactions...
- Credit Card Delinquencies Reach 18-Year Low
CNN Money 02 Apr 2013
Delinquencies on credit cards issued by banks hit the lowest point in 18 years after plummeting to 2.47 percent in the fourth quarter, reports the American Bankers Association (ABA). The decline throughout 2012 sends a signal that consumers are attempting to get debt under control...
- 18 States Considering Bans on Credit Card Surcharges
American Banker 01 Apr 2013
Eighteen U.S. states are mulling legislation to proscribe retailers from tacking extra costs on to credit card transactions, following approval of new rules allowing merchant surcharges on MasterCard and Visa purchases...
- Balance Transfers to Zero-Interest Credit Cards Tempting but Dangerous
Digital Journal 30 Mar 2013
Many struggling consumers are trying to reduce their financial obligations, but some options could be more problematic in the long run. One of these options involves zero-interest credit card offers, such as zero-interest rates for balance transfers for a certain period of time...
- Upper West Side Joins Boca in Most Credit Card Complaints
Bloomberg 27 Mar 2013
Since it began gathering consumer gripes about credit cards in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has received the highest volume of grievances from well-off communities in New York and Florida, based on an analysis of agency data. Of the top four zip codes contributing to the more than 18,500 complaints published as of March 18, two are on Manhattan's Upper West Side and two are in south Florida...
- ‘Pre-Account Opening’ Fees Is Where Credit Card Reform Failed
eCredit Daily 25 Mar 2013
Although the 2009 Credit CARD Act added many protections for consumers, the result of one lawsuit allows card issuers to charge a practically unlimited fee for opening an account. First Premier Bank challenged the Federal Reserve and U.S. lawmakers in court over one provision of the reform law -- and won...
- Expiration Dates Fuzzy on Old Card Debt
Fox Business 25 Mar 2013
The credit card debt that Americans built up over the recession is gradually eroding and becoming legally off-limits to collectors, although it can be difficult to figure out when an individual obligation has expired...
- CFPB Focuses on Consumer Choice -- Or Lack Thereof
American Banker 21 Mar 2013
Last month, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray proposed a new, unified way of thinking about several of the agency's biggest issues. He pointed out that U.S. consumers do not get to choose the company that services their mortgage, the collection firms for their debts, or the entity that compiles their credit files...
- The Young and the Creditless: Young Adults Eschew Credit Cards
Chicago Tribune 20 Mar 2013
A growing number of young adults aged 18 to 24 balk at using credit cards. A Sallie Mae and Ipsos Public Affairs survey found that 39 percent of undergraduates ages 18 to 24 owned a credit card in 2012, compared to 49 percent in 2010...
- Credit Card Users Smarten Up
U.S. News & World Report 13 Mar 2013
Americans are becoming more thrifty, according to new data from rating agency Fitch. The share of delinquent accounts is at the lowest level since 1991, with more credit card borrowers paying off their balance in full each month and fewer carrying a balance. The typical credit card charge-off rate peaked at 11.4 percent in early 2010 but began to fall abruptly by 2011. The Federal Reserve recently reported that the total number of credit card accounts fell from nearly 500 million in 2008 to 380 million now. Two area where Americans are not deleveraging are student loans and federal debt. Total student loan balances are nearly $1 trillion, with default rates exceeding any other type of debt. Americans' savings rates also continue to decline.
- Bill Would Allow Consumers to Get Free Credit Score When Receiving Free Credit Reports
Consumerist 06 Mar 2013
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee have introduced The Fair Access to Credit Scores Act of 2013, which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The bill would require that the three major credit bureaus also include a current credit score when they provide a customer with a free credit report. Currently, U.S. consumers can check each credit report from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian once a year for free through AnnualCreditReport.com; but they may have to pay for the actual credit score. Sanders’ office says that one of the motivations behind the bill is to fight back against “free score” schemes that provide consumers with FICO scores -- but only if they sign up for costly subscription-based credit monitoring services. It also aims to provide scores that are similar or the same as the scores that lenders see -- not the "educational" scores that borrowers can purchase and that often differ markedly from those sold to lenders. "Knowing your credit score is essential to managing your finances," states Pamela Banks of Consumers Union. "Your scores have a huge impact on your life, but you typically have to pay for them, and the scores you buy may not even be the ones your lenders use. This bill would help consumers get the credit scores they need, and it would take some of the mystery out of the credit reporting industry."