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US Consumer Bureau Opens Online Credit Card Complaint DB

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the about-those-jerks-at-citibank dept.

Government 162

chiguy writes "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau begins releasing detailed information on Americans' complaints about their credit cards online. From The Washington Post: 'The CFPB said it will only publish complaints after it has verified the consumer's relationship with the company. The new database will include not only the name of the company involved, but also the nature of the complaint and the consumer's Zip code. It will also report whether the firm responded in a timely manner, how the matter was resolved and any disputes. The CFPB said it has received more than 45,000 in the year since the bureau was launched.' Complaints about mortgages, student loans, and checking accounts will be added later. Financial institutions are complaining loudly, decrying the enforcement of one of the main tenets of the free market: transparency."

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Seriously ?!?!?!?! (4, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369841)

More and more I get this feeling of disgust each time I hear a company complain about something that has to do with consumer rights. At least I am getting more disgusted and not more desensitized...

Re:Seriously ?!?!?!?! (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371325)

Next time you vote, remember which party created this bureau and which keeps try to block it or defund it. Despite what a big pile of slashdot users regularly say, there are still differences between the major parties.

Banamex / MasterCard (3, Informative)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371705)

I live in Mexico for nearly 9 years now. Last November my Banamex bankcard got stolen. This was reported in less than an hour at a nearby "sucursal" of Banamex (in the same shopping mall). A few days later my wife and I discovered that about 27,000 MXN (about 2,000 USD) had been withdrawn in two shops in the time between the cards got stolen and reported.

So we went to the bank to report this. We talked to the bank manager (or supervisor), since we had talked to him earlier how to get money. Once your card is blocked you can only get money in the bank with identification, a copy of your contract (which they had on electronic file), and max. 3000 MXN (about 219 USD) for "security reasons" (right). Anyway, he couldn't care less, or that was our impression, but we ended up with a nice lady who really wanted to help us out, but was powerless against the unbelievable crappy way Banamex deals with customers in cases like this.

There are two ways to report incidents like this: the "fast" way: reporting it by phone. And the slow way (or in my current experience the "forget about it" way) by paper. We were allowed to use the bank's phone, so we called Banamex. And called. And were put on hold. And when finally someone who could speak English was found -- I don't speak Spanish very well -- I was put on hold, or got disconnected (again). After 4 (!!!) hours of this we had to leave the bank since they really wanted to close down.

We also went to one of the places they had shopped: Sam's Club. While we asked how it could happen that people could shop with my card the guy told us happily about how cards are cloned. I got the impression he was more into how cool this all was and what not instead of how "cool" is was for us, just before Christmas. Anyway, we learnt that 2 iPads had been bought at Sam's.

The next day we went to the bank building I had opened my account with. After 2 hours of more of the same, and worse; at one point I talked to someone in English who plainly stated she couldn't help me after it had taken nearly 20 minutes to get transferred to her, we decided to take the slower paper route. We filled in a form, I signed it, and hoped for the best. This was the 2nd of December

Right now? Still no money back. Even in Mexico the banks are insured for fraud (Banamex for 72 hrs after theft, if I understand correctly). We have contacted Banamex in every possible way, even via Facebook. I have contacted MasterCard, it's their shiny logo that's on my bankcard, but while they told they would escalate things with Banamex so far nothing has happened... Last resort seems to be CONDUSEF, but this being Mexico I don't have a good feeling about this (I do have some experience with PROFECO; an organizations that seems to "protect" consumer's rights).

What surprises me is the piss-poor "security" of bank cards. They are cloned in seconds, and it wouldn't surprise me if the data is transferred via the Internet to a different location; the trip from the mall were the card was stolen to Sam's Club, where the iPads were bought, takes probably 10+ minutes and what I recall from the time stamps they got there unbelievable fast.

A lot of companies get away with a lot. I don't understand why MasterCard can't put more pressure on Banamex; it's their logo on the card that got stolen. Is this logo just a meaningless shiny sticker? And I don't understand by Banamex behaves this piss poor; they are insured.

well damn (2)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369913)

Didn't know something like this existed. Time to add my recent problems to the list. With a credit rating of 720 there is no excuse for me to have a 23.9% APR. Fuck you Chase Freedom. Worse part was I would email them over a dozen times and get robo-responded each time with a message that essentially said they don't do credit report please contact experian or other such services. Worse still was that in my emails I told them I went there before applying to check my score. I even went so far as to add a screenshot to my email showing them my awesome score. I would repeatedly get the same robo-response regardless. Eventually I called them. They gave me a support number to call about my APR. The number ended up being disconnected. Chase can suck it. No one should get a card through them.

Re:well damn (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369949)

Why do you have to complain to some board? Can't you just cancel the account, get a new card from a new company, and transfer the balance?

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370025)

dont cancel the card, just pay it off and stop using it. The amount of open credit and the length of time you have had that credit card affect your credit score.

Re:well damn (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370145)

I've never understood the reasoning with why closing a 0 balance credit card should lower a credit score.

You would think the credit tracking companies would look at you closing a high interest, high limit, card as a good thing. It's like saying paying off a mortgage should lower your credit score.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370251)

They care more about your credit history than your current credit. 5 years of no significant credit looks way better than 1 year. Credit rating is after all mostly a rating of confidence in your ability to pay up. No history is basically bad history.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370353)

" 5 years of no significant credit looks way better than 1 year. "

Really? To me it looks like a bad customer who doesn't add anything to our coffers.

Re:well damn (1)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370383)

I've never understood the reasoning with why closing a 0 balance credit card should lower a credit score.

...It's like saying paying off a mortgage should lower your credit score.

Because [that part of it] is about how much unused credit you've got, how low your debt:credit ratio is. They're looking at how you use revolving credit, not how fast you pay off a debt like a mortgage.

Re:well damn (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370393)

If you think of your credit rating as a metric of your utility as a customer for credit services, rather than as a metric of how good you are at paying off debts, it sometimes makes a bit more sense.

A level of responsibility/having-your-shit-together below a certain level is bad, because the chronically impecunious just don't have much blood to squeeze out. A level of responsibility above a certain level is also bad, because you are the credit-industry equivalent of those rational shoppers who come in, buy the loss-leader, and then leave that big-box stores loath so much...

Flagrantly unreliable behavior tends to knock your score down; because it casts real doubt on your ability to pay within reasonable time, and the net present value of having loaned you money; but excessively virtuous behavior strongly suggests that you will just skip in and take advantage of the free loan, without ever tripping on any late fees or interest payments by which better customers pay for the service...

Re:well damn (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371639)

If you think of your credit rating as a metric of your utility as a customer for credit services, rather than as a metric of how good you are at paying off debts, it sometimes makes a bit more sense.

But that's wrong. It only makes sense when you look at the credit score for what it is: a measure of how likely you are to keep to the terms of credit extended to you at a given time. Anything else is hogwash and won't make sense when you know what goes into the score. People with middle-of-the-road credit are the best customers for credit services. They pay higher fees, higher interest rates, and often make a late payment or two (which adds even more fees and higher interest rates). People with very high credit scores often give creditors very little actual profit. You have to offer them super low rates with no fees and they generally aren't going to give you any further opportunities to get more out of them. They're a reliable source of very, very little income for creditors. As such, the credit score is a rating of how likely it is you'll stick to the letter of the agreement between you and the creditor for the life of the account (as of the moment when the score is pulled).

A level of responsibility/having-your-shit-together below a certain level is bad, because the chronically impecunious just don't have much blood to squeeze out. A level of responsibility above a certain level is also bad, because you are the credit-industry equivalent of those rational shoppers who come in, buy the loss-leader, and then leave that big-box stores loath so much...

Now this isn't entirely right either. Certain lenders deal only in certain arenas. Some have a niche dealing with bad-credit customers. They work in fees and rates that build in what basically amounts to default insurance for the company. They're willing to put up with x% defaulting because they have so much profit coming in from the people who are actually paying that it all balances out and they can make good money. You also have broad-base lenders (Honda's credit arm is actually one of these) who'll lend to just about everyone, letting everyone cover each other's risk via volume and slightly higher (but still pretty good) rates and fees. I've hardly ever seen a creditor operating exclusively at the high end. Those who do often serve the high rollers with outstanding credit and charge huge (relative to what I make) fees for crazy levels of service. Most creditors would rather have a mix of mid and high credit scoring customers. It allows them to balance risk and show a decently safe and stable balance sheet.

Flagrantly unreliable behavior tends to knock your score down; because it casts real doubt on your ability to pay within reasonable time, and the net present value of having loaned you money; but excessively virtuous behavior strongly suggests that you will just skip in and take advantage of the free loan, without ever tripping on any late fees or interest payments by which better customers pay for the service...

Actually, any unreliable behavior (30 day late, etc) knocks your score down in a hurry. Someone with a score approaching 800 might see a 30+ point drop from being 30 days late on any one given account. The problem with being perfect all the time is that any sign of weakness makes it look as though you may have a house of cards about to come falling down. Still, from a consumer's point of view, having that high score is always the best for you. Over about 760 or so (780 for some lenders), you'll have access to virtually free credit for nearly anything you want to buy. You still have to be smart about what you do and not assume you'll get perfect rates to match your perfect score. Your first offer typically won't reflect your score; you need to shop around to find the truly gorgeous offers.

Re:well damn (4, Informative)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370853)

I've never understood the reasoning with why closing a 0 balance credit card should lower a credit score.

It doesn't necessarily; at least not immediately. Closing a revolving credit account with a zero balance changes your debt:total credit ratio among your revolving accounts. If you have a $0 balance on a $10,000 limit card and a $750 balance on a $1,000 limit card, and you then close the account for the $10,000 limit card, your total revolving credit utilization has gone from 7% (which is actually better than 0% usage) to 75%. Using 75% of your revolving credit is a major red flag that says you're over-extended and may be getting into trouble. FICO scoring has no memory when it comes to revolving account balances. It doesn't give you credit for going from 80% utilization to 10% utilization in a month; it merely gives you one score based on the 80% and one score based on the 10%. Likewise, it does not penalize you for going from 10% to 80% (though you'll take a hit just for being at 80% usage).

The other part of that comes in later. A fairly sizable chunk of your credit score comes from the average age of your credit accounts. Closing a high-interest revolving credit account won't affect your score today in terms of AAoA, but in a few years when that old, closed account drops off your report? Well now your average just got smaller and your score may have just taken a hit. The more accounts you have, the less losing one will matter. At the very least, it will likely eventually cost you a few points years later. However, if it drastically affects your utilization, you could see a big hit today, and if you don't have many accounts, you could also see a big hit years later when the closed account disappears.

You would think the credit tracking companies would look at you closing a high interest, high limit, card as a good thing.

Your credit report is a snapshot of where you are at the moment someone checks the report. The terms of your revolving accounts don't factor into the equation in terms of a basic credit score. They may for one of the niche scores (there are dozens and virtually nothing is known about them since consumers don't have regular access to them), but your basic FICO score has no idea whether a given card has great terms or bad terms. In terms of things like credit cards, it's looking for your debt:credit ratio on that account, your debt:credit ratio across your revolving accounts, and the age of that account (to factor into AAoA). It's also looking for any delinquencies on the account (30 days late, etc) and how recent they are. That's about it.

It's like saying paying off a mortgage should lower your credit score.

Paying off your mortgage has the effect of reducing the variety of credit accounts you have open. It's treated as a type of installment loan. If you have others (like an auto loan, student loans, etc), the impact will be pretty small.

In the end, what you need to understand is that the FICO score isn't about how smart you are, but about how likely it is you'll keep to the terms of credit extended to you at any given time. If you hold a mortgage, car loan, and several (very old) revolving accounts which are all in use and in good standing, you'll have a stellar credit score. If you've got collections, late payments, judgements, etc, then you're showing an inability or unwillingness to pay debts and your score will suffer. The area in between is basically left to showing how able you are to juggle a lot of different credit accounts and how responsible you are about not over-extending yourself just so you can have that dream vacation/new boat/etc. It's also important to remember that things like debt:income ratios, where you live, etc are NOT in your credit score. Your credit score is strictly a snapshot based on your current credit report and does nothing but measure the chances of you sticking to the terms of credit extended to you at that moment.

If you want to know more, you should visit the MyFico.com forums. The people there make a hobby out of understanding how all this stuff works.

Re:well damn (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371387)

This is why I still have my first credit card, from like 14 years ago. I charge something on it periodically so they don't cancel the account, and pay off the balance immediately. I'd prefer to have fewer cards but would rather have my credit score.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371973)

Very smart practice. What I do to keep all my old accounts active is actually put a small recurring bill or two (Netflix, season passes, etc) on each one. I pay it off right away, but it keeps regular activity going through them.

Another thing you can do is to call them every so often and ask for better terms. Target number one should be any annual fees. No reason to stick free money in their pockets. Depending on the issuer, they'll usually be more willing to work with an old customer who isn't using the card as much in the hopes of enticing them to start using it again.

Re:well damn (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370889)

You're mistaking the purpose of credit cards. They exist to make the issuing banks money. Why would seeing you close a high-interest card encourage me to offer you credit. You're not willing to be scammed by high interest rates, which means I won't be able to make money off of you.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371165)

In large part, your credit is a ratio of debt to credit. If you have lots of credit and little debt, in relation to your income, you are very credit worthy. If you currently have say 50% of your credit used, and you close an account (which was your other 50%, yet owed nothing on it), you now have 100% of your credit in use. Thusly making you statistically a less credit worthy person as it implies you are already living at your means to pay back your creditors.

Never close an account.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370321)

The amount of credit you have available affects your ability to get new credit (presumably with a lower interest). It's not as simple as slashdot posters think it is.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370027)

You clearly have no idea what a "Hard Inquiry" is do you? Every time you apply for a credit card they do an inquiry against your account. Your account has a running counter to show how many have recently been placed against your account. Each inquiry lowers your credit rating, and each inquiry stays on that account for 2 years. Also, keeping a card open even with no balance improves your credit rating every year you have it. They may have screwed me, but at this point its better to pay off the card and never use it again meanwhile I keep the account open. You should read up on how credit works or one day you might end up in trouble.

Re:well damn (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370141)

I'm curious though, have you called and asked Chase if they'll give you a lower interest rate? I had a 19% APR on a card, got it lowered to a permanent 12% just by calling the bank and switching to their "low rate" option (no "perks" like reward points, but in the long run they mean much less anyway). I even did this while holding a balance on the card. This was with a Canadian bank though, so things may be different here.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370237)

Yeah I tried calling. Their call center gave me a number that was disconnected. Thanks Chase.

Re:well damn (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370439)

Just pay it in full each month. Then you never pay the interest no matter what it is.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370563)

That's fine until you have a large medical bill and have a big deductible before insurance kicks it, assuming you actually have health cover.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370671)

Simple, don't get sick. If you get injured, sue everyone who may be vaguely aware of it, or hide the injury until you go to work and then "fall" down a flight if stairs.

Re:well damn (0)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371413)

It's painful, but after you finish paying off your card, keep paying the same amount into a savings account for six-to-twelve additional months to build a reserve. This way, next time you won't have to rely on high-interest credit for emergencies.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371827)

This is why you maintain an FSA or an HSA. Those cover your deductibles and other out of pocket expenses. The money going into them comes out tax-free. Any medical expenses too big to pay off all at once, you call them and work out an installment plan. Most places will take $25 or $50 a month; often even less. If you make very little money and that's going to be a problem, most places will knock off a huge chunk of your bill (if not the whole thing) and work out ridiculously flexible terms. They just want to get paid what they can get paid. They'll get the rest from insurance companies (which is why my premiums are higher than they should be).

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371761)

I had a 19% APR on a card, got it lowered to a permanent 12% just by calling the bank and switching to their "low rate" option (no "perks" like reward points, but in the long run they mean much less anyway).

This depends on how you're using the card. If you're carrying a balance on the card (particularly a large balance that you can't pay off), then lower interest makes sense. If you have no balance on the card, then having the rewards makes more sense (regardless of the interest rate). They can charge you a 99% APR, but you won't pay a dime in interest so long as you pay the balance in full prior to the end of the grace period each month (typically around 24 - 28 days after the transaction). In the case of someone who's not carrying a balance, getting 1 or 2% cash back = free money. If you run all your purchases through your rewards card and pay it off within the grace period, you're getting cash back and losing nothing to interest. At that point, it's like getting a 1 or 2% raise in pay.

The banks still make all the money they need from retailer fees. You won't be their favorite customer, but I've never heard a credible account of a bank shutting down an active account in good standing. The typical thing that happens is someone "sock-drawers" a card (puts it away and doesn't use it) for several years and find that the bank comes back and basically says "since you basically aren't a customer at this point anyway, we thought we'd go ahead and make it official".

Re:well damn (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371935)

Yeah, I mentally inserted a "for me" at the end of your quote as I often do but I probably should have put it in there. Hopefully I won't have a balance for too much longer and then the cash back strategy will make sense (though even then you usually have an annual fee for a cash back card, so there's some balancing to do).

Re:well damn (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370147)

You should read up on how credit works or one day you might end up in trouble.

You might not be able to become a debt serf, oh noes!

Re:well damn (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370747)

Getting a mortgage, or a variety of other loans, does not automatically make you a debt serf.

Re:well damn (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371199)

Automatically? No.

Probably? Yes.

Re:well damn (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371891)

Whether you're the master over your credit or your credit's the master over you depends entirely on your responsibility, self-control, planning, credit education, and decision making. I've been on both sides of that game. Educating yourself is the first step to taking control and keeping it. Making smart decisions means you'll have access to lots of money (relative to what you're making) at very little cost.

Re:well damn (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370963)

My high credit score has enabled me to keep float about $13,000 at 0% over the past 3 years (it's all being paid off as I'm comfortable doing) while giving me an average of 2% extra cash in hand from my rewards card's cash-back feature. Further, it has me a car loan that'll cost me a whopping $400 in interest over the life of the loan. I've been able to do what I want, when I want, and I'm (literally) being paid money for the privilege.

There are people who let themselves become a slave to creditors and there are people who make creditors their bitch. Play the game right and you're golden. Have backup plans for your backup plans. Have contacts at the ready if anything goes wrong. Have reserves and make damn sure you can very easily afford what you're doing.

Re:well damn (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371451)

We're taking a family vacation this fall courtesy of starpoints. The price of everything everyone buys covers the cost of cash back and points programs, so people that don't use them are effectively funding those of us who do.

Re:well damn (4, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370351)

hard inquiries affect your score by 1 to 5 points. FICO also groups inquires -- so if you shop for a mortgage during a period of a month or so, all of those will be grouped together (and will affect your score the same as 1 inquiry)

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/how-credit-inquiries-affect-credit-score.aspx [bankrate.com]

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370391)

Good to know. If I could rate you up I would. I've never shopped for a mortgage and was curious how that worked.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370979)

How much a given hard inquiry will affect your score varies with the information in the account (things like how many hard inquiries are already on there). If someone already has 9 hard inquiries, they almost certainly aren't getting away with a 1 point hit.

Re:well damn (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371835)

It's all a big guessing game anyway. FICO does not release the actual formula, and even though you can see the score from TransUnion/Experian/Equifax, the banks do not use the score from those agencies. They calculate it themselves, and they can use a different weighting in the formula.

Also, FICO is not the only scoring company. VantageScore, NextGen, BEACON, and EMPIRICA.. to name a few.. and your bank can use any of those for your account.

So even if you know your credit score... you don't really know your credit score.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370037)

Or just pay them off (presumably this is possible with a 720 credit score).

This is a good thing (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370065)

Why? Because the poster wants to ensure that others do not repeat his experience. For example, when I am shopping, I always check reviews. I realize there may be some bad reviews, but if the majority of even half the reviews are bad, I will not go with the product. This site now helps people report their experience with card companies. Now, if you see overwhelming numbers reporting high APR's with Chase Freedom cards, you know that is a card to stay away from. Sure, you can simply cancel and walk away, but knowledge is power, and it is nicer for consumers to share imformation about businesses out there.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370077)

Or.. if you think having a high credit rating is something to be proud of that it somehow makes you a better person financially, why not get rid of credit cards all together? Having a high credit score is like having a level 80 WoW character. It just means you are a bigger sucker. A high credit score isn't winning, its losing.

That said... I keep two cards, never pay any interest (in fact I don't know what they are). My magic trick? Pay them off entirely every time. I see a credit card as a sorta buffer. A nice monthly statement of everything I bought or someone tried to buy pretending to be me. When all checks out, one check is written and paid, done.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370213)

No credit is just as bad as bad credit. I imagine this is the same reason you have two cards sitting around that you keep paid off. Having a high credit rating hardly makes you a sucker. It means I care about how my interest rates on loans, mortgages, and even car payments will be in my future. This isn't a video game. This is real life. This number can and does matter quite a lot. It is something to be proud of especially considering how many people in this country have terrible credit.

Re:well damn (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370339)

No, you're wrong. Having no credit is a good thing. That means that you're a free person, in debt to nobody.

Re:well damn (2)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370421)

Incorrect sir. Having no credit means you have no credit history. When applying for loans they assume the worse and give you a bad interest rate. Having no interest is definitely not a good thing in any instance where a credit check is performed. The only way to get around it otherwise is to supply a very hefty down payment or to pay off these purchases instantly. Last I checked the income divide was pretty huge so I don't think that's viable for everyone.

Re:well damn (2)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370469)

False dichotomy. Credit isn't debt, it's the amount of debt they would trust you with. You don't have to be in debt to have credit.

Re:well damn (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371359)

If you don't have credit, you'll never be in debt. You don't have to care about what "they" will or will not loan you.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371465)

That's great if you never want to buy a new car and you only ever want to rent a house or buy nice expensive things. Having credit does not equal debt. Being in debt also does not mean you have credit. They are not mutually exclusive.

Re:well damn (1)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371775)

Oh, there are plenty of ways to get into debt without having credit. Personal debts, student loans, bills, unpaid taxes, medical bills (even if you have insurance, deductibles for things like even minor outpatient surgery are often 4-digits), fines, etc., etc. The only debts you can avoid by not having credit are loans/mortgages and credit card debt.

But even ignoring all of that, going into debt your way is the result of using credit irresponsibly. You might have needed credit as a factor, but it wasn't the direct and inherent cause of going into debt any more than you smashing your own thumb with a hammer was caused by the fact that you owned one. It's misuse and carelessness.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371051)

You're buying a house with no credit? A nice car?

I've floated many thousands of dollars at 0% interest while getting an average of 2% cash back on all my purchases (basically a 2% raise) for several years. Meanwhile, I bought a nice car and I'll pay a total of about $400 interest over the life of the loan. I'm literally being paid for buying what I want, when I want, within the limits of what I can actually afford. They're paying me.

If slavery is having someone else float you free money and paying you to take it, sign me up. I'm in.

Re:well damn (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371327)

That's what you think. But don't think for a minute that the people who are paying for your credit card usage (the people you buy stuff from) aren't tacking 3% onto prices everywhere. You're part of the system. If we ever get a fair government, we'll get rid of the laws that don't allow retailers to discount cash purchases, and this "benefit" that you think you're seeing will go away.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372043)

3%? What is this, 1995? Nobody's paying 3% anymore except -maybe- for AmEx. And that, friends, is why nobody wants to take AmEx.

Anyway, if some retailers actually are raising prices slightly (maybe 1, 1.5%), I'm still ahead of the game and able to float a lot of money for less than free. Also, I don't know where you live, but gas stations around the US were giving cash discounts back when gasoline prices shot way up. I don't recall any mass shutdowns for law violations.

Re:well damn (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371479)

Until you want a house. Hmmm, $600/month to rent that I will never see again, or $600/month towards a house....

If I rent, in 30 years I will have nothing to show for
If I get a mortgage and purchase a house, in 30 years I will have a $100k house.

Re:well damn (1)

mcb (5109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371887)

Invest the money you save by renting and in most cases you'll come out ahead (who stays in 1 house for 30 years anymore?)

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371857)

No, you're wrong. Having no credit is a good thing. That means that you're a free person, in debt to nobody.

Sorry, you are wrong. It means you will be paying much higher insurance premiums. The insurance companies are basing rates off credit score now, and most have been for years. They don't want you to know this, but it doesn't change that they are indeed doing it.

  I used to be a Dave Ramsey fan too. I paid off my house (19 years early), paid cash for my Murano, paid off and closed credit cards... and then paid $2000 extra each year. I don't want to have to have credit open, but it costs more to not have it than to keep it.

Re:well damn (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370055)

If you discipline yourself to use a credit card correctly the interest rate should be of no matter to you. Never use it to make a purchase you can't cover with cash you have in the bank, and make it a rule to pay the balance in full each and every statement. Do this, and you will never have to pay a cent in interest ever.

Re:well damn (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370185)

I've found out the hard way, that merely leads to $50 / $75 / $100 annual fees which are waived for debt serfs. They'll get $50 to $100 /yr out of you, one way or another.

Re:well damn (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370467)

They make money off the fees they charge retailers, which are enough apparently to allow me to collect a couple of hundred in "reward" points every few months.

Re:well damn (1)

infaustus (936456) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370523)

There are plenty of cards that have no annual fee, regardless of whether you carry a balance. I have 4 such cards.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370577)

Amazon Visa card -- 3% on all amazon purchases, 2% on gas/food, and 1% on everything else. No fees and the points are redeemable at amazon.com, so effectively as good as cash.

re: using a credit card correctly? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370399)

Yeah.... unfortunately, that's NOT the correct way to use a credit card, in the lenders' viewpoint. And guess who makes the rules? (Hint: Not you.)

If you repeatedly pay off a credit card in full, you're just an expense on their balance sheet. (They have to keep lending you money for as long as 25-30 days at a time without making a penny of interest on it -- not to mention maintaining your account with them, printing up fresh cards for you every so often, etc. etc.)

Sure, it shows you're fiscally responsible, but not in a way that benefits them. What they're really after (and reward with a higher credit score) are people who actually carry a balance, but always make payments on time AND keep that balance somewhere under 50% of the total limit you're allowed to borrow.

If you're really going to make sure you never carry a balance on your credit cards, you're better off not having them at all. Just save up money in an interest-earning checking account that includes a debit card and use it instead. As another poster said, the alternative eventually becomes the card issuer charging you some sort of annual fee to keep the card active. That really stinks, because it's like you're paying them interest except without even getting to borrow the money first.

Re: using a credit card correctly? (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370505)

Then I must be an exception then. No annual fees, never paid interest, and take the cash option whenever I redeem my reward points.

re: exception? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370657)

It's possible ... but I doubt that #1, your credit score is as high as they'd rank it if you did things the way I described, and #2, you can go on with that strategy indefinitely without eventually having the terms and conditions of your card changed on you.

The credit card issuers are NOT really vigilant about what's going on with all the cards out there.... Many years ago, I went through a Chapter 7 and one of the cards I was able to keep (and keep using) for many months after the fact was a Home Depot card, issued by one of the creditors I filed against. They should have immediately cancelled that card (even though I paid it off on-time and didn't have a balance on it). They finally realized their error and cancelled it, but not for close to a year.

If you don't do something that gets their attention (like failing to make a payment), they only review your account every so often. And when they do, and see that you don't owe anything? They may be betting for a while that you'll eventually use the card for some major purchase or emergency situation, and carry a balance for a while when that happens. If that never materializes though, *eventually*, they'll decide you're just not a profitable customer for them....

Re: exception? (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370851)

If that day ever comes then I'll simply use the cash in my accounts to make my purchases instead and they'll lose the fees they earn from the retailers. Admittedly though, I'll miss cashing in my reward points as well.

Re: exception? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371543)

I do it the way the parent describes, and my credit score could not get that much higher. Because I'm getting points or cash back on everything, I run -everything- I can through a credit card. Thus they make more in merchant charges off me than they do off a typical person who pays cash or check for somethings. That's where they get their profit off me, from the higher prices all merchants charge everyone for everything to cover the costs of credit card fees. (But merchants would charge those costs whether I paid cash or check or credit, so the best I can do is use credit and skim the cash back and reward points.)

Re: using a credit card correctly? (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371063)

You don't actually understand how credit cards work. Every time you buy something from a store with a credit card, the credit card company gets something like $1 + 3% of what you purchased. That's right, if the store is making a 10% profit on your purchase, almost a third of it goes to VISA or Mastercard. Before 2008, the credit card companies were looking for debt slaves. They loved the people who carried near the maximum balances and made near the minimum payment. However, after the economy tanked they were reminded of how risky that is. Apparently, post 2008 they started seeking out the no-balance people who buy lots of stuff and pay it off every month. They were the new targeted group. I'm not sure if the credit card companies are still actively targeting the no balance people but they are very lucrative for the credit card companies.

Now if you credit card company decides to force you to pay a fee to carry your card, cancel it. They'll eventually learn not to do that. You have to remember corporations are like evil little children. If you don't rap their knuckles every time they get into mischief they'll rob you blind while mocking you for it. See the shackle shoes [thestar.com] , for example. It's amazing that a company could reasonably despise it's customer that much.

Re: using a credit card correctly? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371373)

Yeah.... unfortunately, that's NOT the correct way to use a credit card, in the lenders' viewpoint. And guess who makes the rules? (Hint: Not you.)

If you repeatedly pay off a credit card in full, you're just an expense on their balance sheet. (They have to keep lending you money for as long as 25-30 days at a time without making a penny of interest on it -- not to mention maintaining your account with them, printing up fresh cards for you every so often, etc. etc.)

Sure, it shows you're fiscally responsible, but not in a way that benefits them. What they're really after (and reward with a higher credit score) are people who actually carry a balance, but always make payments on time AND keep that balance somewhere under 50% of the total limit you're allowed to borrow.

If you're really going to make sure you never carry a balance on your credit cards, you're better off not having them at all. Just save up money in an interest-earning checking account that includes a debit card and use it instead. As another poster said, the alternative eventually becomes the card issuer charging you some sort of annual fee to keep the card active. That really stinks, because it's like you're paying them interest except without even getting to borrow the money first.

I've had a high-interest-rate credit card for ages. I've also only paid like $5 in interest the 15 years I had it (for the one time the statement got lost in the mail).

First, credit cards are a competitive business - your bank will have at least a dozen, half of which are no annual fees. And while bank credit cards (or credit union ones) won't be as full of perks or other stuff like nonbank cards, they will still extend them to you.

And no, if you're using the card, the bank still makes money off you - each transaction costs the merchant 3-5% (though it also means the merchant doesn't have the cost of handling cash). What costs the bank is if you have a $0 balance card and don't use it - in which case they have to keep the account open and you're not making transactions.

And while carrying a balance certainly is profitable, the card issuer has to balance that with your ability to pay. Just because you have a card with a $10,000 credit limit doesn't mean you have the ability to pay it - you could always default on the loan or go bankrupt, in which case the issuer loses out (a credit card is unsecured).

And while paying with cash or debit is great, there are still some advantages to credit. First, you have a history (which is necessary unless you rent a house forever or are rich enough to pay it off in cash). Plus, there are legal protections on credit that some issuers may extend to debit but they don't have to. And there are rewards - most debit cards don't have it.

It can also help with financial planning - the death by 1,000 cuts thing. E.g., if you're paying off stuff like $10 here and there, you can spend a lot more money because most people write it off as "it's a tiny amount" over say, spending $100. Having it consolidated on a bill with a total does show even the little charges add up rather than find your account drained one day because you made 100 $10 transactions that you forgot all about versus that one $1000 transaction for something.

Re:well damn (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370119)

With a credit rating of 720 there is no excuse for me to have a 23.9% APR.

That low? I'm in the low 800s last time I checked (yes, I'm old) and all my CC are the legal max of 29.9%. I'm sure the only dependency is which state you live in.

Personally I think they're pissed off that I don't carry a higher balance... gotta make $100/yr off me somehow.

One funny thing is I used to have multiple cards just in case and also the worlds crudest budgeting system, but due to endless too-big-to-fail mergers I'm down to BoA and Citibank, both with multiple cards.

Re:well damn (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370271)

If your rating is in the 800's you should be below 14% APR if not even lower. You should make some phone calls.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370519)

Definitely. I'm just below 800 and most of my cards are between 8.99% and 9.24%. Are you sure you didn't pay a bill late? They hijack your rate if that happens.

Re:well damn (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370817)

There are multiple lenders who would give you a 0% balance transfer for one year and a 12.99% APR after that with a credit score in the 700s... forget about the 800s!

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371265)

With a rating above 720, you can easily join any credit union with which you have eligibility (and most have back doors to get in) and get a credit card with no annual fee and a ~10% interest rate or lower. Word to the wise: save yourself a hard inquiry and sign up for every account you need when you sign up with the credit union. Most of them seem to want to hit your report every time you add something new.

Re:well damn (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371201)

You don't get to sit in judgement of anyone else who uses credit properly just because you don't have a clue what you're doing. If all your credit cards are at 30% interest, you don't know what you're doing. My gf's cards aren't near that high and her credit's terrible.

I suspect:
* 1. You're lying about your score to prove a point
* 2. You're lying about your interest rates to prove a point
* 3. You aren't telling us the whole story
* 4. You've gotten scores from somewhere other than MyFico.com (and thus, almost certainly aren't giving us FICO scores)

Also, simply pay off the cards prior to the grace period expiration and they won't charge you a dime; regardless of the APR. Learn to use credit; don't let it use you.

Re:well damn (1)

noc007 (633443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370457)

As long as you pay what's on that billing cycle on time, you don't get charged any interest. Treat it like your check card and you won't have any problems.

Using only 1/3rd of your credit limit and paying it off each cycle can do wonders to your credit score as well.

Re:well damn (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370689)

Didn't know something like this existed.

It's existed for decades: the BBB. I successfully had my APR reduced from 19.99 to 9.99 with Chase. When I was out of work, they jacked it up before I could close the account at a lower rate. My complaint with the BBB motivated them to restore good faith with me. They are still pretty low on my list of potential lenders, but they're not on the bottom. The BBB won't be able to fix everything, but let's be frank: neither will any government agency.

Re:well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371599)

Any small business that joins the BBB can have complaints against them wiped out. It has no credibility in my eyes.

"Tenets" not "Tenants" (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369961)

C'mon proofreaders, get with it.

Re:"Tenets" not "Tenants" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370061)

you are the worst kind of person...

Re:"Tenets" not "Tenants" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370327)

Q: Why couldn't either of the tepees get to sleep?

A: They were two tenants. ...er, or something like that.

Fantastic News (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369969)

Hopefully this will begin to add pressure on the credit card companies. At the very least it will create a market opportunity for a company that sees common complaints, and caters their own offerings to avoid angering their customers. Examples:
"In these difficult times, if you miss a payment, you just get a late fee, not a bump in your rate that will take years to reduce."
"Need help? We're easy to reach by phone or email."
"Our rates don't change. Sign up at one APR, stay at that APR."

Please add PayPal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40369991)

They need regulating too.

Re:Please add PayPal (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370035)

Damn right. My mother is a professional photographer that sells prints online via her web store and has been using Paypal for years and she has constant problems with them. The only reason she's still with them is familiarity, and the fact that they're established and thus "trusted" by most people when it comes to web purchases.

Re:Please add PayPal (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371035)

Damn right. My mother is a professional photographer that sells prints online via her web store and has been using Paypal for years and she has constant problems with them. The only reason she's still with them is familiarity, and the fact that they're established and thus "trusted" by most people when it comes to web purchases.

She could always do what a good majority of businesses do - get a merchant account and accept credit cards directly rather than through Paypal. Her website will probably need to use one of those third party providers that can do it all so she doesn't have to worry about PCI-DSS, but it's certainly doable.

Depending on how she qualifies, though, the merchant account may not be better than paypal (it can be worse or more onerous). And if she's worried about "familiarity" she can offer both Paypal and direct credit card.

Though, on the downside - if you think Paypal is horrible, a merchant account can be worse (Paypal's horribleness stems from that - and that most people don't actually know what it takes to actually accept credit cards).

As a buyer, sometimes a merchant has forced me to use Paypal - either they don't accept different billing/shipping addresses, or in one case earlier this year... they wanted me to jump through hoops. As in "please scan in your credit card and email it to us".

Of course, what rubbed me was they claimed it was "for my protection" when they wanted me to send them two scans of my credit card (Front, back) via email. (If any business asks for this - it's not for your (the cardholder's) protection, it's for the business's. You're still protected by the law from fraudulent purchases.). They claimed they need to do additional verification and refused to offer anything in return (like say, expedited shipping - I'm saving them money by preventing a chargeback and keeping their merchant account rates low, after all). I had to make the purchase, so I cancelled and paid via Paypal. Paypal's protections for buyers is worse, but at least it's still there. Plus they had no guarantees or anything that the card data would be kept safe.

And finally - note that most cardholder security precautions prohibit the activity as you can lose control of your card. Perhaps the next time they do this, I'll file a complaint with my bank.

Re:Please add PayPal (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370525)

Yep! I'm not a big fan of govt. regulation (your basic libertarian-minded type here), but PayPal managed to skirt a lot of control that everyone else in the banking industry seems to be held to, and I never quite understood how they were granted an exception.

For example, the eBay/PayPal merger certainly seems questionable, if nothing else? eBay purchases PayPal and immediately proceeds to make it the ONLY form of payment allowed for auctions on their system. I'm not even allowed to pay with CASH (supposedly legal tender for "all debts, public and private")? Before that, you could use several forms of e-payment on eBay.... I forget the name of the business, but I know there was a service allowing you to issue a check to the seller, which they used to explicitly support, integrated into their site. I paid someone using that method at least once before.

Even THAT wouldn't be as irritating if PayPal didn't charge any fees for the eBay transactions, but they do! You have to pay eBay a listing fee and a percentage of what the item sells for when sold ... but the person paying with PayPal is still subject to any transaction fees PayPal charges!

Re:Please add PayPal (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370649)

PayPal is not the only payment option on EBay. However many sellers accept only PayPal because it is the easiest way to manage things.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/methods.html [ebay.com]

And Paypal has never charged me as a buyer a transaction fee. As a seller, yes, and outrageously so, but not as a buyer.

Re:Please add PayPal (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371629)

You neglect to mention that every seller is required to accept Paypal. It's the easiest way to manage things only because having one payment system is easier than multiple systems, and if you go with one system, that one system has to be Paypal.

Epic fail (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40369997)

Financial institutions are complaining loudly, decrying ...

The real complaint is they paid billions to elect these guys, and look what happens. My suspicion is within days / weeks this will be defanged. Perhaps you'll only be able to look up complaints if you're already a customer of that bank, or it'll be made illegal to refer to these complaints in any way in advertising, or perhaps the names of the companies will be censored from public view, etc. I bet a simple hack to prevent citizens from using it would be the "only publish complaints after it has verified the consumer's relationship with the company" clause, whoops we have no budget this year for any verifications, what a surprise, I guess we can't publish anything this year... or ever. Another simple hack would be to prevent lookups solely by company name, must specify company name AND zip code AND mom's maiden name or something like that.

The new database will include not only the name of the company involved, but also the ...

consumers account number, PIN number, CVW number, SS number, and mothers maiden name. Wanna bet that it'll be, at most, a select query on the same server as the sensitive personal stuff is stored? And they'll be people uploading complaints named "Bobby tables" within hours of opening. This may be part of the scheme above... complain and everyone on the net can hear about it, but all of your personal data will be on a torrent site within hours, so you better not complain in public after all, serf.

consumer ... consumer ...

I hate being called a consumer. The article is about modern day debt-serfs anyway, not consumers. I want to be a citizen, you know, with like rights and stuff. Just like you know anyone using the N-word probably isn't worth listening to, anyone using the C-word probably isn't worth listening to. (Cloud is another good C-word to ignore)

Re:Epic fail (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370305)

I hate being called a consumer. The article is about modern day debt-serfs anyway, not consumers. I want to be a citizen, you know, with like rights and stuff.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deals with consumer financial services, as opposed to services aimed at, say, governments or corporations. Whether or not you're a citizen isn't their concern. Their mission is to protect the end-users of consumer credit from pervasive illegal bullshit. If the word "consumer" offends you, eh, too bad.

complain and everyone on the net can hear about it, but all of your personal data will be on a torrent site within hours, so you better not complain in public after all, serf.

Oh for the love of ... nevermind ...

Re:Epic fail (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370567)

I hate being called a consumer. The article is about modern day debt-serfs anyway, not consumers.

I do too, but in this case I understand why:
1. The phrase "consumer finance" does in fact refer to the kinds of things the CFPB is supposed to be dealing with: bank accounts, credit cards, and personal loans.
2. From the point of view of the banking industry, loans, accounts, cards, etc are their products, which you are purchasing with fees and/or interest payments.

Re:Epic fail (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371661)

The real complaint is they paid billions to elect these guys, and look what happens. My suspicion is within days / weeks this will be defanged.

If Republicans win this fall, expect the consumer bureau to be gutted then eliminated. It's not like they haven't already been trying to block or defund it.

Re:Epic fail (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371831)

You are partly correct but not for he reason you think.

Good, kind-hearted government isn't releasing this information to benefit the consumer by embarrassing companies (beliefs of low-level government functionaries, AKA "useful idiots", aside).

It was done in an election year to panic banks by stirring up outrage in the hoi polloi such that banks would be afraid Congress would be driven to act.

This will have the intended effect (by the "useful idiots'" bosses) that the bosses will get lots of donations.

Your error, as many make, is in the assumption this feedback loop between government and business is driven by business thwarting Good Stewardship for cackling, nefarious reasons rather than that politicians seek this power so they can get in the way and thus get paid to get back out of the way.

This has much better predictive and explanatory power than the "evil business thwarts good politicians" theory -- more evidence? Sure. Look at most other countries around he world where he desired jobs [i]are government jobs[/i] and this is raised to a hih art form.

This is why the big banks hate the CFPB (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370007)

The last thing the larger financial companies want is clear documentation of exactly how they screw their customers. Just by sharing this kind of information, they start making the market compete better - now that customers are basically talking to each other, they know that Capital One is a bad deal, which will hurt Capital One in the marketplace.

Of course, I know that there are some who's head will explode when they encounter a government program that is quite cheap, effective, mostly non-coercive, and improves market functioning, but that's what this is.

Re:This is why the big banks hate the CFPB (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370281)

they know that Capital One is a bad deal

As a non-customer of cap one, for years (decades?) they sent me bi-weekly physical mail spam trying to get me to sign up. I worked at a commercial printing shop that occasionally printed and even mailed paper spam 20 years ago and I figure they're in the hole at least $500 cost of sales on me, so if I ever become a customer there's probably some data mining process that'll find some way to make $500 plus a hefty profit off me. Those TV commercials are not cheap either. I fail to imagine how anyone could think they'll be a good deal, other than maybe some momentary bait and switch sales tactic.

Any time you see a cost of sales of $X realize unless they're a charity or political campaign (I'm looking at you, Ron Paul) they expect to earn n * $X gross profit where n is probably pretty big.

God Forbid (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370009)

The horror of an informed populace...

Funny, they can submit information to credit agencies that are applied to every adult in this country, but turn around and give the people an outlet to do the same thing in return and now they're sobbing into their cereal. Boo fucking hoo.

Tomorrow's headline: (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370021)

Online credit card complaint database hacked, detailed consumer information leaked.

Tenants, eh? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370127)

I didn't know Transparency was a "tenant" of the Free Market. I do hope he (she?) pays the rent on time.

Then again, I don't know how transparency is supposed to apply here anyway. There's no "free market" in credit reporting, just a triumvirate, which has itself in a win-win-win situation. They're not competing on price, as far as I know, which would be the only place where transparency would be a market factor, since they're all selling basically the same commodity and not uncommonly all 3 to the same customers.

On the other hand, having transparency on how they operate is a big benefit, "Free Market" or not. Considering that up to now, they've had free rein (sic) to bad-mouth people indelibly, it's only appropriate that the favor be returnable. Even their customers benefit, since they can see both sides of the argument for a change.

Interesting but... (2)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370161)

There only seems to be around 100 complaints in their database. That couldn't possibly be right could it? Or have I been wrong about how terrible the banks can be.

Here's a quick query I threw together:

Complaints by Company
1 TD BANK
1 Zions First National Bank
1 USAA Savings
5 Barclays
6 Amex
7 Wells Fargo
8 Discover
9 GE Capital Retail
15 Bank of America
24 JPMorgan Chase
27 Citibank
33 Capital One

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40370515)

33 Capital One

"Who's in your wallet" always struck me as a bit of an ominous warning.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371921)

I've had better results with my Capital One CC than my USBank checking account. Capital One "tried" to get away with bogus charges, but would work with my wife to remove them. USBank's management out-right told me that they are sorry for their mistakes, but there is nothing they could do about it.. WTF kind of response is that?! I didn't have the time or money to fight them, I just changed to the local credit union.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40370603)

What would really be interesting is which (Visa / Mastercard / etc) the bank cards are associated with... and how many complaints are relative to the big name brands...

Re:Interesting but... (1)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371401)

It'd be interesting, but trivial. They're just the networks, not the lenders or servicers - they're going to have little to nothing to do with business practice complaints and banks' policies. Most of those banks deal in both. It'd be like looking at customer service complaints of PC manufacturers and wanting to know how it broke down between Intel and AMD processors.
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