Stephan De Witte

Feds Sue Five Arizona Title Lenders For Failing To Provide Annual Percentage Rates On Ads

When taking out a loan or similar cash infusion that has to be repaid over time, it’s important — and required — that lenders provide borrowers with the annual interest rate they’ll be paying before the debt obligation is resolved. Today, federal regulators announced it sued five auto title loans companies for failing to provide that information to consumers in advertisements.  [More]

Pasco Chamber

Yes, You Can Rent-To-Own A Dog & It’s Expensive

Rent-to-own deals — where you pay weekly or monthly installments on a purchase instead of buying it outright — are typically offered for pricier home goods, like furniture, appliances, and electronics, and often end up costing significantly more than you’d pay in cash or with a credit card. Some retailers are extending this idea to pet-buying, and just like renting-to-own a new TV or fridge, a rent-to-own puppy is going to cost you a lot more than you’d pay otherwise. [More]

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Back in June 2014, Consumerist showed readers what might have been the scammiest payday loan we’d ever seen. Today, federal authorities arrested the man behind the company, AMG Services — along with his lawyer and another, unrelated, payday lender — for allegedly running online payday lending operations that exploited more than 5 million consumers.  [More]

Toyota Must Pay $22M For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers

Toyota Must Pay $22M For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, creditors are prohibited from discriminating against loan applicants based on race or national origin. But that was a rule Toyota’s financing unit allegedly violated, resulting in thousands of African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying higher interest rates than their white counterparts. Now, in an effort to resolve charges filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Toyota Motor Credit Corporation must pay $21.9 million to wronged consumers.  [More]

L.A.-Based Auto Lender Must Pay $48M In Fines, Refunds For Illegal Collections

L.A.-Based Auto Lender Must Pay $48M In Fines, Refunds For Illegal Collections

For the second time this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has flexed its muscles when it comes to reining in unscrupulous indirect auto loan financiers. Just days after taking action against Fifth Third Bank for auto-lending discrimination, the Bureau ordered a Los Angeles-based finance company and its auto title lending subsidiary to pay $48.3 million in fines and relief to affected borrowers stemming from a laundry list of allegedly illegal debt collection practices. [More]

Regulators Take Action Against Fifth Third Bank For Auto-Lending Discrimination, Illegal Credit Card Practices

Regulators Take Action Against Fifth Third Bank For Auto-Lending Discrimination, Illegal Credit Card Practices

Federal regulators dished out a double dose of enforcement today by taking action against Fifth Third Bank for allegedly charging higher interest rates to minority borrowers for car loans and deceptively marketing credit card add-on products to bank customers.  [More]

Honda Finance Unit Must Pay $24 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers

Honda Finance Unit Must Pay $24 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, creditors are prohibited from discriminating against loan applicants based on race or national origin. But that was a rule Honda’s financing unit allegedly violated, resulting in thousands of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying higher interest rates than white borrowers for their auto loans. Now, as part of a settlement with federal regulators to resolve allegations that the company allowed discriminatory loan pricing, the company must provide $24 million in restitution to borrowers. [More]

What You Should Know About Rent-To-Own Retail Models: Extra Costs, High Interest Rates

What You Should Know About Rent-To-Own Retail Models: Extra Costs, High Interest Rates

Rent-to-own stores offer cash-strapped consumers the ability to take home a new refrigerator, living room furniture set and hundred of other items by allowing them to pay a little each month. But, as we’ve reported in the past, what seems like a convenient years-long payment plan often adds hundreds – even thousands – of dollars to the price tag of a product. To ensure potential customers of rent-to-own stores know what they’re getting into, our colleagues at Consumer Reports put together a helpful video spelling out the potential dangers of such retail models. [More]

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

A life of stealing started with the snatching of a candy bar and transformed into an illegal multi-million dollar online payday lending scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of people. At least that’s what federal prosecutors say led to charges against a Pennsylvania man recently. [More]

Larry Troy

More Banks Are Offering Student Loan Refinancing, But Is It Really Safe & Beneficial?

For the last several years legislators have repeatedly introduced a bill that would allow student loan borrowers to refinance their private and federal student loans to the lower interest rates at which new loans are currently being issued. Although the legislation hasn’t managed to make it into law, that hasn’t stopped banks and credit unions from creating their own refinancing programs to help alleviate the debt burden for student loan borrowers. [More]

(Jeremy P)

Credit Card Issuers Increase Limits For Subprime Borrowers; Raise Concerns About Risks

As the economy continues to improve, credit card issuers have begun to loosen their vice grip on lending standards in order to raise borrowing limits for consumers. But the move to provide extend credit to those with blemished histories has raised concerns with consumer groups.

[More]

(Colin)

My Credit Card Interest Rate Is Going Up. What Are My Options?

Earlier this week, American Express announced that it would be raising annual interest rates on more than 1 million accounts, leading lots of people to ask if this could happen to their credit card — and what they should do about it. [More]

(The.Comedian)

American Express Raises Interest Rates In Effort To Be Just Like Other Credit Cards

The bad news continues to mount for American Express customers, as the company announced plans Wednesday to raise the annual interest rates on a number of consumer credit cards. [More]

The Secret To Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate (Spoiler: Just Ask)

(Corey Templeton)

Are you sick of being slammed with an 18% interest rate on your credit card even though you regularly pay down your balance and don’t miss payments? “How can I possibly get that rate down a few points to make my finances more manageable?” you ask to no one in particular, but that’s a question to ask your credit card issuer because there’s a decent chance they’ll knock down that APR for you. [More]

(andy briggs)

Car Dealers Charge White Customers Less Than Everyone Else, Study Finds

Things that are okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her credit history. Things that are completely not okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her race. And yet they just keep doing it anyway.

[More]

(Spidra Webster)

Calculate The True Cost Of Credit Card Purchases Before You Buy

This is good advice any time of the year, but since many of us are about to launch into spending sprees in the oncoming days, it’s as good a time as any to remind shoppers to think long-term about how much they are actually going to pay for an item purchased with a credit card. [More]

Would Capping Credit Card Interest Rates Help Or Hurt Consumers?

Would Capping Credit Card Interest Rates Help Or Hurt Consumers?

Many Americans are carrying more than $10,000 in revolving credit card debt, some with an APR of over 20%. But while the idea of putting a more reasonable ceiling on these rates might seem like a way to help get these folks out of debt and back in the black, some say it would likely have no positive effect on the economy at large.

[More]

Banks Marketing 1% APR Bank Accounts As "High-Yield"

Banks Marketing 1% APR Bank Accounts As "High-Yield"

Considering how “high-yield” savings accounts used to give returns of 4-5%, reader Phil thinks it’s a bit disingenuous for banks to continue marketing them as such when the rates are only 1%. He sent in a picture of a recent piece of junk mail he got from American Express to illustrate.

[More]