The biggest credit news this week is all about some new actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The CFPB recently released some guidelines to help financial caregivers in exercising their fiduciary duties. That may sound more complex than it actually is.
About 22 million Americans 60 years and older have named fiduciaries in a power of attorney, and millions more senior citizens, as well as younger adults with disabilities, have court-appointed guardians and other financial caregivers. That’s a large number of Americans who aren’t managing their own money, and the CFPB is trying to help those managers.
Identity theft can be a huge risk for elderly Americans, and fiduciaries can do a lot to deter fraudsters. However, a fiduciary can’t intercept every scam phone call, so one of the most important things a caregiver can do is talk to the person about the risks of identity theft, in addition to keeping a close eye on their financial statements, credit scores and credit reports.
The CFPB has been quite busy, announcing this week that it would begin collecting consumer complaints on payday loan products.
A report from the CFPB earlier this year showed that 75% of payday loan borrowers rely on the lender to provide information about the loan, and in a news release about the announcement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray highlighted an important issue with this lender-borrower relationship:
“Before the Consumer Bureau, consumers who had trouble with payday lending products had few places to turn,” Cordray said. “By accepting consumer complaints about payday loans, we will be giving people a greater voice in this market.”
Consumers can file their complaint with the CFPB here.
As the CFPB continues to work on greater transparency and rule-making in the payday loan and fiduciary areas of personal finances, we’re working on making sure consumers understand everything their credit score does and does not tell them (and lenders, for that matter).
Credit scores use the raw data from your credit report to make a mathematical assessment of your creditworthiness. The underlying factors of your credit score include things like payment history, age of your credit accounts and number of accounts. If you want a free look at your credit scores, you can use the Credit Report Card. Your credit score won’t tell creditors your age, your income or whether you’re fully employed.