consumer financial protection bureau

CFPB Unveils New Federal Rules to Curb Risky Mortgages

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is laying out the nation's first rules aimed at ensuring that mortgage borrowers can afford the loans they take out. Among the new regulations are bans on the risky "interest-only" and "no documentation" loans that helped inflate the housing bubble.

Year-End Paperwork Purge: What to Keep, What to Shred

Even the most digitally savvy consumer can amass reams of paperwork by year's end, from ATM and gift receipts to credit card statements and tax forms. Here's the skinny on what to keep and what to toss in the year-end paperwork purge.

The Most Important Item in Your Credit Report

Most of your financial life is reflected on your credit report. But there's one specific aspect that carries more weight than any other when Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion calculate your credit score -- because it accounts for more than half of the updates the credit bureaus receive.

CFPB to Oversee Debt Collectors

Expanding its reach, the government's consumer finance watchdog agency will monitor the day-to-day operations of big debt-collection companies. It is the first time that debt collectors have been subject to federal scrutiny of their routine business practices.

CFPB Complaint Site Takes on Credit Report Issues, Too

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaint website already gave Americans a way to seek redress over problems with credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, auto or personal loans, even student loans. Now, it's also ready to help us deal with credit reporting agencies.

Is Prepaid the Future of Plastic? Fee-Hungry Banks Hope So

There's a new wave of plastic filling the middle ground between credit cards and debit cards: refillable cards -- or prepaid cards -- that act like a hybrid of both. They're an attractive option for consumers -- and a convenient way for banks to sidestep recent consumer protection laws.

Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

It's the question every incumbent up for reelection has had to answer since challenger Ronald Reagan first posed it to President Jimmy Carter in 1980. But in this 2012 campaign, the answer is not so simple, for all the rhetoric on both sides.

The Hidden Credit Scores That Could Sink Your Finances

It's not hard to get copies of your credit report: You can even get them free from the major credit-reporting agencies. But each one of us has more than one credit score, and the one you're given may be very different from the ones lenders and other businesses actually use.

Stay-at-Home Spouses Will Once Again Get the Credit They Deserve

The consumer-friendly CARD Act is saving credit card holders hundreds of millions of dollars and almost as many headaches, but it has some flaws. For example, it made life more difficult for roughly 5 million stay-at-home spouses by making it hard for them to get credit. That's going to change soon.

Holy Smokes! Some People Spend 25% of Their Income on What?!

As far as bad habits go, smoking is a popular example of one to give up. Now there's a new report that makes a dramatic financial case for quitting: In New York State, low-income smokers are spending roughly one-quarter of their income on cigarettes.

Prepaid Cards Are 'Risky' and Loaded with Fees, Pew Study Finds

Reloadable prepaid cards, which work like debit cards without a bank account, have been growing in popularity. But prepaid cards are riskier than you'd realize, and most come with between 7 and 15 fees - many of which aren't disclosed - reveals a new study from a nonpartisan think tank.

3 College Finance Tips for Scared Students (and Their Parents)

More than 80% of parents of 16- to 18-year-olds believe college is important to their child's future -- and a similar number are worried about how to pay for it. Here are a few tips that could make solving the college financing puzzle a little easier.

Dealing With Your Credit Report Just Got a Lot Easier

It has never been more important to have good credit, but it's no easy task to go against the ratings agencies when your credit report is wrong. Now though, you have an ally in your corner: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Private Student Loans: Subprime Mortgages of the College World

Student loan debt is a $1 trillion issue today, but according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one fairly small part of the student loan market appears to be most responsible for many of the problems borrowers face: private student loans.

How You Can Benefit From the Capital One Settlement

The Capital One Financial settlement with U.S. regulators over deceptive marketing of credit card "add-on products" means a lot to all consumers, not just Capital One customers, according to consumer advocates.

Capital One to Refund Customers $150 Million to End Card Probe

Capital One Bank will pay $210 million to settle charges that it pressured credit card customers to buy costly add-on services like payment protection and credit monitoring. About $150 million of that fine will go directly to 2.5 million of its customers.

Consumer Bureau to Supervise Credit Reporting Agencies

Credit reporting agencies will soon be subject to federal oversight for the first time. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday that it will begin supervising the nation's biggest consumer reporting agencies this fall.

Online Credit Card Complaint Database Debuts

A new online database devoted to cataloging consumer complaints against credit card companies launched Tuesday. The website, created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will begin by posting grievances against credit card companies, and will eventually include complaints regarding mortgages and student loans.

Teaching Doctors to Diagnose a Grandma Money Scam

The elderly can be easy prey for financial scammers, and it's up to their families to help keep them safe from cons. But a new program is putting another group of defenders onto the front lines: medical professionals.

Colleges' Shady Deals With Banks Stack Big Fees on Students' Aid

As many as 900 colleges are pushing students into using payment cards with hefty fees to get to their financial aid, according to new report. Colleges and banks rake in millions from the accounts, often through secretive deals and sometimes in apparent violation of federal law.

Stay-At-Home Mom Fights New Credit Card Rule

The Card Act was passed in 2009 to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices. But some stay-at-home parents complain that one part of the law has made it harder for them to get credit cards.