Research

CRL conducts in-depth research on the extent and impact of predatory lending, to provide useful information to consumers, community advocates, and policymakers alike.

  • State of Lending: Credit Cards Chapter
    Published: Dec 12 2012      Issue: Credit Cards

    Credit cards are one of the most common purchasing tools used by Americans, and many low- and middle-income households rely on credit cards to pay for basic living costs. In the past, credit card...

  • The State of Lending: Credit Cards
    Published: Dec 12 2012      Issue: Credit Cards, Prepaid Cards

    Credit cards are one of the most common purchasing tools used by Americans, and many low- and middle-income households rely on credit cards to pay for basic living costs. In the past, credit card...

  • Predatory Credit Card Lending: Unsafe, Unsound for Consumers and Lenders
    Published: May 8 2012      Issue: Credit Cards

    What hurts consumers financially hurts business. Losses in downturns mount faster at banks enagaging in unfair, deceptive practices. High-cost penalty fees, interest rates don’t mitigate risk—as...

  • Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works
    Published: Jun 1 2011      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...

  • Numbers Game: The True Cost of Credit Card Mail Offers
    Published: Oct 25 2010      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...

  • Analysis of Federal Reserve Research on Behavioral Scoring
    Published: Aug 11 2010      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...

  • A Just Fee or Just a Fee?
    Published: Jun 8 2010      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...

  • Capitalizing on New Credit Card Consumer Protections
    Published: May 6 2010      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...

  • Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate
    Published: Dec 10 2009      Issue: Credit Cards

    New CRL credit card research identifies hidden and deceptive credit card issuer tricks and traps continue, even after the passage of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and pending Federal reserve rules....

  • Stacked Deck: A Statistical Analysis of Forced Arbitration
    Published: May 31 2009      Issue: Credit Cards, Mandatory Arbitration

    Mandatory arbitration study. CRL's analysis shows consumers lack rights in forced arbitration (binding mandatory arbitration). Almost all credit card contracts with major issuers contain a hidden...

  • What's Draining Your Wallet? The Real Cost of Credit Card Cash Advances
    Published: Dec 16 2008      Issue: Credit Cards

    This report demonstrates that credit card “payment allocation” policy can be both expensive and confusing for credit card customers and shows that allocating payments to the lowest rate first is...

  • Priceless or Just Expensive? The Use of Penalty Rates in the Credit Card Industry
    Published: Dec 16 2008      Issue: Credit Cards

    While credit card companies compete to offer the lowest "headline" rates in solicitations, they also depend on less obvious tactics to boost their financial returns. Repricing customers based on...

  • The Plastic Safety Net: The Reality Behind Debt in America
    Published: Oct 12 2005      Issue: Credit Cards

    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...