While many consumer advocates have voiced their approval of the federal watchdog in charge of regulating the lending industry and others, the agency recently earned praise from the man holding highest office in the land.
In his recent weekly address, President Barack Obama applauded efforts made by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect consumers’ credit scores. He also used that time to extol the virtues of checking one’s scores regularly, as well as their credit reports, as both can have a big impact on a person’s everyday life.
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The CFPB now handles a large number of consumer complaints, and recently added issues with borrowers’ credit reports to the roster, the president said. These new efforts are crucial to making sure that consumers have only the most accurate information available listed on their credit documents so that they’re dealing fairly with lenders.
“Until this week, if you had a complaint, you took it to the company,” Obama said. “Sometimes they listened. Sometimes they didn’t. But that was pretty much it. They were your only real hope. Not anymore. If you have a complaint about your credit score that hasn’t been properly addressed, you can go to consumerfinance.gov/complaint and let the consumer watchdog know.”
Further, because the agency has been involved with issues such as misleading credit card add-ons that resulted in massive settlements, and other areas of reform, it’s important that those in Washington stand with the agency, and not try to roll back its safeguards, Obama said. The CFPB has faced considerable opposition, particularly from Republican lawmakers, because they feel its power is too unilateral and can cause uncertainty and other problems for those in the credit industry. However, Obama further pledged that he and other Democrats would not let any of the CFPB’s powers be stripped from it.
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The CFPB has really only had full regulatory control and power since early January, when director Richard Cordray was officially appointed to the post. Since then, it has significantly beefed up its efforts to add protections for consumers across a number of borrowing types and other related issues, after originally focusing only on credit cards.
Image: Center for American Progress Action Fund, via Wikimedia Commons