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Press Releases

February 16, 2011
New credit card rules mandated by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 have resulted in significantly greater price transparency for consumers, a new research report by the Center for Responsible Lending finds. The report, "Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works," also finds that—contrary to industry claims—the price consumers pay for credit cards has remained stable and access to credit has not tightened beyond what would be expected from the economic downturn. [For the full report, go to http://qa.crl.w.lmdagency.net/research-publication/credit-card-clarity.] CARD Act reforms have helped...
October 25, 2010
Credit card offers have grown increasingly complicated since 2000, when Congress required issuers to start disclosing pricing information on credit card offers. But instead of providing clarity to consumers about the true cost of their credit cards, issuers responded to this mandate by adding a confusing array of numbers to their offers, new CRL research finds. To see the full report, go to http://www.responsiblelending.org/research-publication/numbers-game-true-cost-credit-card-mail-offers Specifically, CRL's research finds that the total count of numeric disclosures in credit card...
June 15, 2010
Statement of Center For Responsible Lending President Michael D.Calhoun regarding Federal Reserve Board Rules on Credit Card Penalty Fees The Federal Reserve Board today issued rules that significantly limit the penalty fees that credit card companies can charge, but didn't go far enough to curtail widespread abuse in this area. Our recent report shows that card issuers are charging late fees that are unrelated to issuer losses but instead are just another way to raise costs for credit card customers. Under the new rules—the third and final set implementing the Credit CARD Act...
June 8, 2010
Contrary to what they say, credit card companies don't price late fees for risk, a new report by the Center for Responsible Lending shows. Instead, the study finds issuers that engage in predatory pricing in general are more likely to charge the highest late fees, ones that bear little relationship to the issuers' potential loss. "The largest credit card issuers claim they use these fees as a deterrent to late payments or to cover their losses," says CRL senior researcher Joshua M. Frank, author of the report. "But the evidence shows late fees are just another way to charge customers more...
May 6, 2010
Credit card borrowers who pay more than the minimum payment each month can reap big savings under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, a Center for Responsible Lending analysis finds. (For the full analysis, http://www.responsiblelending.org/research-publication/capitalizing-new-consumer.) Under the new law, known as the Credit CARD Act, borrowers can pay down existing credit card debt sooner by paying less interest than under the old rules, all the while improving their credit score. The CRL analysis estimates that for each dollar above the minimum...
March 5, 2010
Washington, D.C.—March 5, 2010— The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, which took effect February 22, 2010, requires new disclosures on monthly credit card statements. The Financial Services Roundtable and the Center for Responsible Lending have teamed up to explain a few of these new disclosures, which are intended to make the cost of credit clearer to American consumers. The Disclosures WILL: ? Show you how long it will take to pay off your entire balance if you pay only the minimum payment each month and make no additional...
December 11, 2009
Statement from Michael Calhoun President of the Center for Responsible Lending Washington, D.C. – "We are very pleased the U.S. House of Representatives has taken an important step toward restoring our country's financial stability by voting to pass the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173). The bill would provide consumers with significant protections from the industry practices that dismantled our economy and those of countries around the world. We commend the House for this vote to protect families and small business from unfair, unsafe financial...
December 10, 2009
Credit card companies are busy crafting new tricks and traps to bypass both Federal Reserve Board rules and new federal law set to take full effect in late February 2010, a new research report from the Center for Responsible Lending finds. Entitled "Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate," the report explains why the nation's 80 million families with one or more credit cards continue to be hit with arbitrary, unfair interest rate hikes and fees. [For the full report go here.] The study examined the practices of issuers that hold over 400 million...
November 10, 2009
Statement by Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending: "The draft legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency unveiled today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is an essential component of urgently needed financial reform. Unfortunately, the banking lobby will exert intense pressure to weaken the bill by carving out special exemptions for some lenders and also by hobbling states' ability to address lending issues in their own jurisdictions. Committee members will need to resist the banking lobby's influence if they are to craft...
November 5, 2009
"We commend lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives who yesterday overwhelmingly approved H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009. The bill would expedite implementation of the credit card reform legislation Congress passed earlier this year to December 1, nearly three months earlier than its current effective date of February 22, 2010. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, whose members we hope will also pass it quickly and in a bipartisan manner. Putting credit card reform on a faster track would be welcome relief for tens of thousands of American...

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