Interest rates among top complaints to CFPB about credit cards

Friday, December 2nd, 2011 By

Visa

Interest rates and billing were the top complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about credit cards. Photo Credit: MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr/CC-BY

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to publish one of its first reports, a survey of consumer complaints about credit cards. Interest rates and billing confusion were the biggest issues.

Fledgling agency still lacks chief administrator

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency for consumer financial services that was created by the Dodd Frank Act, has been a point of contention on Capitol Hill for some time. The chief architect of the bureau, Elizabeth Warren, was routinely pilloried by lawmakers though she was only employed in an advisory role.

Consumers turn to payday advance loans rather than credit cards.

The federal agency began limited operation this summer though, according to CNN, political infighting is still blocking the appointment of an administrator for the agency. Richard Cordray, a Republican and former Attorney General of Ohio, has been nominated to head the agency but hasn’t been confirmed, as some lawmakers want to see a board of directors, rather than a single person and far less regulatory authority vested in the agency.

First report issued

The CFPB is also soon to issue its first report, according to Daily Finance, a survey of consumer satisfaction with credit cards, involving more than 5,000 individual complaints registered with the agency. Data for the CFPB credit card satisfaction survey, according to Reuters, was compiled between July 21 and Oct. 21.

The most common complaint, according to MSNBC, accounting for 13.4 percent of complaints received, was billing issues, followed by high interest rates. Complaints about interest rates accounted for 11 percent of complaints. The rest of the top 10 complaints, in order, were identity theft with 10.8 percent, 8.9 percent of complaints were “other,” closing or canceling an account with 4.8 percent, payment and debt protection at 4.4 percent, billing statement issues with 4.1 percent, collection practices at 4 percent and credit reporting at 3.9 percent.

Full report due by February

After receiving the complaints, the CFPB forwarded 83.8 percent of complaints to card issuers, according to BusinessWeek. Of those, 74 percent resulted in a “full or partial resolution” of the issue at hand, of which 71 percent agreed fully with the resolution that was performed.

The CFPB is only releasing the initial results to stimulate discussion ahead of releasing the full report including full text of consumer complaints on Jan. 30. The next project for the CFPB is creating a similar report about mortgages.

Sources

CNN

Daily Finance

Reuters

MSNBC

BusinessWeek

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