Home > Personal Finance > This Week in Credit News: The CFPB Faces a Fight

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


This week was relatively quiet in credit card news, with the biggest highlight coming Wednesday when the banking industry spoke out against a consumer review site proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

What’s prompting the industry’s concern, and will we be seeing more pushback against CFPB policies? Keep reading to find out!

Plan to Disclose Credit Card Complaints Faces Opposition

A story from USA Today is causing quite a stir as it looks like the CFPB will face off with the banking industry over a new website that would track complaints against credit card issuers.

The proposed website would be public and searchable, something that many banks and credit unions said they oppose.

“Until somebody has had a chance to sort though it and figure out what’s valid and invalid, it’s a gossip column,” Carol Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association, told the publication. Kaplan even likened the proposed site to Yelp, the user-sourced consumer review site.

The CFPB would not be the first government agency to use a website to solicit and publish consumer complaints, the article states. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission both have online complaint sites.

The Pew Charitable Trusts are on the case of checking account fees and transparency with its project Safe Checking in the Electronic Age and the organization updated the public on its most recent findings this week.

The report found that banks and other financial institutions don’t clearly and concisely state the terms of checking account agreements so that customers fully understand the fees and can compare account terms among different institutions. Not only were overdraft fees not explained clearly enough, they had also increased over the course of the study.

The Pew Trusts are recommending legislation that would make account forms more consumer-friendly and also foster a competitive marketplace. What does that mean for consumers? Fee statements that are uniform and easy to compare from one bank to the next.

You may be tying the knot, but do you want to be tied to your new spouse’s debt problems? Probably not.

Luckily, our consumer credit expert Tom Quinn is on the case and gave four fantastic tips for newlyweds (or soon-to-be-newlyweds) on how to get their credit under control both separately and together. One of the most liked tips on Twitter was the idea that spouses make the process of improving their scores a healthy competition by setting goals and trying to beat one another.

Quinn also advises newly married couples to remember that keeping their old accounts open is important, even if they want to open a joint account together or stop spending on certain credit cards. Closing accounts can affect your account history, which is an important factor in your credit score.

Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.


Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team