The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 put into place significant protections for consumers regarding their credit cards. Now, the federal financial watchdog wants to know more about how those changes have affected both lenders and borrowers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently opened an inquiry into the results of the Credit CARD Act, and wants input from a number of different sources on how the provisions laid out in that law are affecting the industry, according to a report from the agency. It says it wants to hear from Americans, lenders, industry analysts, consumer advocates, and more about what they’ve encountered since the bill was signed into law about three and a half years ago.
[Free Resource: Check your credit score and report card for free with Credit.com]
“The CARD Act made major changes in the credit card marketplace in order to better protect consumers,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray. “With today’s inquiry, the Bureau is seeking to understand how the credit card market is working in practice and how the CARD Act changes have affected consumers and credit card issuers.”
In particular, the agency wants to hear about four areas of interest during the inquiry, the report said. The first is how the terms of agreements and practices lenders undertake have significantly changed in the last few years. For instance, it wants people’s opinions on whether disclosures have become clearer, or if lenders have changed their pricing, marketing and underwriting strategies.
It also wants to know if the protections the CARD Act put in place to reduce the amount of unfair or deceptive practices have been effective, the report said. Also of interest are whether the laws have resulted in any changes to the cost or availability of credit, and whether the use of risk-based pricing has become more prevalent among lenders.
All the information gathered during the public comment period will be compiled into a report to the U.S. Congress about the current state of the credit card market, the report said. It will also use the data to inform future policy decisions.
[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com]
In general, consumers have seen improved clarity in credit card lending since the passage of the law, but many have also significantly changed their attitudes toward using these accounts. Many have tried to cut back on spending and worked hard to eliminate outstanding debt since the end of the recession.
Image: geekcalendar, via Flickr