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Asking the public about the CARD Act

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Yesterday’s CARD Act conference commemorated the first anniversary of the day when many provisions of the Credit CARD Act went into effect. Industry executives, leading academics, consumer advocates, government officials, and the CFPB convened to review changes in the card industry since the Act. In conjunction with the conference, the CFPB commissioned a survey to explore how people perceive some of the changes brought about by the Act.

Our survey showed that:

  • 60% of cardholders find their monthly statements easier to read and understand
  • 60% feel that the terms on their credit card are clearer than they used to be
  • Among those who are at least somewhat familiar with the CARD Act, 57% believe the Act has been personally beneficial to them

In addition, 32% of people who noticed a change in their statements reported that they changed their behavior by increasing the amount of their monthly payment or by limiting their use of credit cards.

Another important insight is that there is still work to be done to enhance consumer understanding of their credit cards. For example, 80% of all cardholders who carry a balance from month to month are able to report their interest rate, but 35% of them are unable to say how much interest they paid. The survey also showed that consumers who know their rates or fees are more satisfied than those who do not know this information.

Part of the CFPB’s role is to make sure consumers have clear information on costs and risks so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. We are paying close attention to the level of consumer understanding.

One other thing we’re especially excited about is that this is the first survey the CFPB has ever commissioned, and we’ve made the raw results available to the public to download in CSV and TXT (tab delimited) formats. This detailed data is available on our Credit CARD Act page along with more information about the Credit CARD Act itself and additional infographics like the one above. I encourage you to take a look.

Learn more about our survey methodology.

Marla Blow is the CFPB Deputy Assistant Director for Card Markets.

  • Jimpazz

    The bank credit card industry is offsetting any regs by increasing fees and rates, it seems they will get their outrageous profits thru loopholes or any way they can. The “big” banks are the worst offenders,left to themselves they will continue to gouge the public. We need stricter controls and oversight we’ve already experianced what they can do if left softly regulated.
    JGP Boston

    • Get A Job

      Jimpazz,

      Please review your facts.

      In an earlier blog on this site, the author of that blog stated that after implementation of the Card Act the overall cost of a credit card, including rate and fees, has remained stable.

      You state that the credit card industry is “offsetting any regs by increasing fees and rates…” Your statement is not accurate. If you disagree with me, please provide some facts to substantiate your claim.

      The controls on credit card issuers and lenders are already very strict. They are not “softly regulated” as you so falsely state on your post. If you would like, I can send you thousands of pages of regulations related to the industry that you can read and interpret in your spare time. This is one of the most highly regulated industries in our nation.

      Posts such as these amaze me. It shows me that there is no effort being made on the part of many posters to determine what the facts are before they spew their false information.

  • Sonny Fields

    Consumers who have lost their jobs, all or in part (furloughed workers, service workers, etc.) as the direct or indirect result of this Big Banks & Brokerages Panic of ’08 should have their credit ratings frozen as of their high water mark in 2007 or 2008 (this DEPRESSION began in 2007 for many). Consumers should not be penalized for the SINS of the Big Banks & Brokerages.
    Being “late” or unable to pay because of laziness is one thing, but because of the loss of income as the result of Wall St’s Gambling Mania is quite another.

    Last month I was less than 7 minutes late in paying a credit card bill “on time” for 2 reasons: 1) problems with the bank’s website, and 2) the “cut-off time” was 2 hours ahead of close of business in my state.
    The bank’s credit card operation, located in South Dakota (not Citi, believe it or not) refused to erase their $25 late fee because they had eliminated one for me in 2007!! They only grant 1 “courtesy” erasure for the LIFE of the Account!! Never have I heard of that.
    Cut-off times should be 30 minutes AFTER the close of normal business in the accountholder’s state. (Many banks now credit deposits to bank accounts up until 8PM in the state of deposit!)

    No “late fees” should be assessed unless several business days late – there is no cost to the consumer credit company as they are receiving high interest for each day the amount is unpaid. When they incur cost for notification, then they are entitled to a “late fee”.

    No due dates should be allowed to fall on Sundays or Holidays. And, if US Mail delivery is eliminated on Saturdays, due dates should not be allowed to fall on Saturdays either.

    There needs to be a National Usury Rate. If South Dakota wants to allow Usurious rates to be charged on their own citizens, that could be one thing, but for the SD to become a hiding place for Somalia Pirates thus penalizing the entire Nation is quite another.

    • Get A Job

      I have an easy solution to your problem.

      If you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your current credit card company, simply move to another credit card company. Most are happy to transfer the existing balance to a new card to make the transition convenient.

      There are thousands of different credit card providers that offer cards of all types, rates and fees.

      The beauty of our financial system is the fact it gives us many choices. We have the ability to choose the product that best meets our personal needs.

      I pay my bills on time, live within my means, and work to keep my credit strong. I can shop for a card with a low rate and low fees. I don’t have to supplement the rate for others who have a history of slow payments or weak credit ratings.

      I am sorry to say this, but I do not have a problem if a credit card company charges a late fee. There is an expense associated with contacting delinquent card holders. There is also an increased risk of non payment. Why should people that pay their bills on time supplement the expenses for those who do not?

      Regarding a payment that was “seven minutes” late – please. You knew weeks in advance when the payment was due. If you are cutting the payment deadline so close that you know, to the minute, when the deadline is, then you shouldn’t blame the card company. In all areas of life we must allow ourselves room for unexpected events prior to meeting deadlines. I have a problem with people who blame others for their own lack of responsibility.

      Sonny, why does a credit card owe you a courtesy refund of a fee it earned? They didn’t have to give you the first courtesy refund either. It was a gift. You have turned a gift into an entitlement. If they disclosed the fee up front to you, which I am sure they did, and then you incur the fee, you owe it. Any refund is a gift.

      If you are upset with cutoff times, please take my earlier advice and shop for another card provider.

      Just please don’t advocate for more rules, more regulations, more restrictions and more bogus protections. I don’t want to pay for the fact others cannot handle their financial affairs in a responsible manner.

  • http://joinambit.org Join Ambit

    The laws already in place should be fiercely enforced. But besides protecting the public, the government should get out of the way, it’s all the freaking regulations that make it impossible for any small time guy to start lending. I think it’s always the fault of government thinking it can do things better then the FREE market that screws things up. I really like a lot of what Ron Paul says, I won’t vote for him. He’s just got a crazy old guy rating way too high for me. But I love Limited government and states rights, and a true constitutionalist.

  • http://joinambit.org Join Ambit

    The laws already in place should be fiercely enforced. But besides protecting the public, the government should get out of the way, it’s all the freaking regulations that make it impossible for any small time guy to start lending. I think it’s always the fault of government thinking it can do things better then the FREE market that screws things up. I really like a lot of what Ron Paul says, I won’t vote for him. He’s just got a crazy old guy rating way too high for me. But I love Limited government and states rights, and a true constitutionalist.

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