When most people think of debt, they probably conjure up a vision of consumers struggling to make ends meet after making unwise financial decisions. But that actually isn’t the case for most Americans. In fact, like other things, debt in moderation is actually a good thing. [More]
To the naked eye, general purpose reloadable prepaid cards function much like long-established credit and debit cards and have quickly gained traction with consumers, especially those who have been shut out from traditional banking options. In fact, about 23 million consumers use prepaid cards regularly. [More]
Back in March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took its first long-awaited step in reining in the payday loan industry by releasing an outline for potential regulations over the small-dollar lines of credit known to thrust consumers into a devastating cycle of debt. While consumer groups were quick to applaud the steps, they also expressed concern that more could be done to protect people from the devastating consequences of such loans. This week, Pew Charitable Trusts released a video detailing the predicament nearly 12 million Americans face every year when taking out payday loans and how regulators might be able to find an answer. [More]
Opening a checking account with a bank is a rite of passage of sorts for many consumers, but the plethora of small-print disclosures, fees and other services are enough to confuse even the most seasoned account holder. While banks attempted to simplify their practices over the years, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows that some banks – and regulators – have a long way to go before they’re truly doing everything they can to protect consumers. [More]
While millions of consumers contribute to the $32 billion in overdraft fees collected each year, a new video shows that many checking account holders don’t fully understand the way overdrafts work or how much they spend on the fees each year. [More]
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the first details of long-awaited regulations governing payday loans and other small-dollar lines of credit known to thrust consumers into a devastating cycle of debt. While consumer advocates were quick to applaud the Bureau’s work, and those in the financial industry to voice displeasure with aspects of the potential rules, both groups agreed that the coming months will involve more time and effort to craft meaningful protections for both sides of the issue. [More]
Each year millions of consumers turn to high-interest, short-term loans to make ends meet. While you may be more familiar with payday lenders who charge triple-digit interest rates with the goal of trapping borrowers into taking out new loans to pay off the old ones, a new report finds that payday’s lesser-known relative, auto title loans, have equally destructive repercussions. [More]
Americans’ positive feelings about the economy have officially returned to the level they were at on the eve of the Great Recession, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts. While that might sound comforting, it doesn’t mean consumers are actually feeling secure in their own financial stability.
Report: Overdrafting Just A Little Or A Lot Has The Same Negative Consequences For Consumers’ Accounts
For most consumers, overdrawing their checking account results in a hefty fee. While it’s safe to argue that consumer who have more overdrafts will pay more in fees, a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that both high-frequency and low-frequency overdrafters often face the same devastating financial ramifications from banks’ overdraft penalties. [More]
The Military Lending Act attempts to shield military personnel and their families from some predatory lending practices, but a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts claims that some traditional banks on military bases are nickel-and-diming members of the armed forces with excess overdraft fees, and a general lack of transparency.
We understand why someone might opt for getting a payday loan online instead of doing it in person. It’s easier, faster, doesn’t require going to a shady-looking storefront operation where some trained fast-talking huckster might try to upsell you unnecessary add-ons or tack on illegal insurance policies. But the truth is that people who get their payday loans online often end up in a worse situation than they would have if they’d applied in person. [More]
Prepaid debit cards may offer a convenient alternative for unbanked consumers, but there are often unexpected costs buried in all the fine print of the cards’ disclosure documents that most people never read. It doesn’t need to be that way.
At first glance it wouldn’t appear that the United States Postal Service and banks have much in common. But that might soon come to an end if an idea to expand banking services to local post office branches in an attempt to meet the needs of the underbanked. [More]
Since 2010, financial institutions have been required to obtain an opt-in confirmation from consumers before enrolling them in overdraft penalty plans, yet a new report found more than 50% of consumers who incurred such penalty fees in the past year don’t believe they opted into any such plans. This revelation, coupled with consumers’ concerns over fees and bank practices, has led to a call for federal regulators to improve rules governing financial institutions’ overdraft policies. [More]
Checking accounts come in all shapes and sizes to fit every consumer’s needs – fine, not every consumer. While options can be good when you’re shopping around for a new bank, they also lead to a plethora of fees and risks for consumers. While some practices have improved, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows banks have a long way to go and it’s time the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action.
In 2012, nearly 12 million consumers loaded more than $64 million onto prepaid debit cards. With so many people turning to these cards, more companies are getting into the prepaid debit business. To assist consumers faced with a plethora of card options, Pew Charitable Trusts unveiled a new model disclosure box for easy comparison of prepaid card fees and terms and conditions. [More]
We recently wrote about the PIRG study showing how fewer than 40% of banks were willing to clearly disclose checking account fee schedules. Now a new report from the Pew Charitable Trust demonstrates just how far banks are willing to go to make it difficult for consumers to know what they are getting with their checking accounts.