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Government The Almighty Buck

US Consumer Bureau Opens Online Credit Card Complaint DB 162

Posted by timothy
from the about-those-jerks-at-citibank dept.
chiguy writes "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau begins releasing detailed information on Americans' complaints about their credit cards online. From The Washington Post: 'The CFPB said it will only publish complaints after it has verified the consumer's relationship with the company. The new database will include not only the name of the company involved, but also the nature of the complaint and the consumer's Zip code. It will also report whether the firm responded in a timely manner, how the matter was resolved and any disputes. The CFPB said it has received more than 45,000 in the year since the bureau was launched.' Complaints about mortgages, student loans, and checking accounts will be added later. Financial institutions are complaining loudly, decrying the enforcement of one of the main tenets of the free market: transparency."
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US Consumer Bureau Opens Online Credit Card Complaint DB

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  • Re:well damn (Score:5, Informative)

    by rgbrenner (317308) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @10:11AM (#40370351)

    hard inquiries affect your score by 1 to 5 points. FICO also groups inquires -- so if you shop for a mortgage during a period of a month or so, all of those will be grouped together (and will affect your score the same as 1 inquiry)

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/how-credit-inquiries-affect-credit-score.aspx [bankrate.com]

  • Re:well damn (Score:5, Informative)

    by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @10:50AM (#40370853) Journal

    I've never understood the reasoning with why closing a 0 balance credit card should lower a credit score.

    It doesn't necessarily; at least not immediately. Closing a revolving credit account with a zero balance changes your debt:total credit ratio among your revolving accounts. If you have a $0 balance on a $10,000 limit card and a $750 balance on a $1,000 limit card, and you then close the account for the $10,000 limit card, your total revolving credit utilization has gone from 7% (which is actually better than 0% usage) to 75%. Using 75% of your revolving credit is a major red flag that says you're over-extended and may be getting into trouble. FICO scoring has no memory when it comes to revolving account balances. It doesn't give you credit for going from 80% utilization to 10% utilization in a month; it merely gives you one score based on the 80% and one score based on the 10%. Likewise, it does not penalize you for going from 10% to 80% (though you'll take a hit just for being at 80% usage).

    The other part of that comes in later. A fairly sizable chunk of your credit score comes from the average age of your credit accounts. Closing a high-interest revolving credit account won't affect your score today in terms of AAoA, but in a few years when that old, closed account drops off your report? Well now your average just got smaller and your score may have just taken a hit. The more accounts you have, the less losing one will matter. At the very least, it will likely eventually cost you a few points years later. However, if it drastically affects your utilization, you could see a big hit today, and if you don't have many accounts, you could also see a big hit years later when the closed account disappears.

    You would think the credit tracking companies would look at you closing a high interest, high limit, card as a good thing.

    Your credit report is a snapshot of where you are at the moment someone checks the report. The terms of your revolving accounts don't factor into the equation in terms of a basic credit score. They may for one of the niche scores (there are dozens and virtually nothing is known about them since consumers don't have regular access to them), but your basic FICO score has no idea whether a given card has great terms or bad terms. In terms of things like credit cards, it's looking for your debt:credit ratio on that account, your debt:credit ratio across your revolving accounts, and the age of that account (to factor into AAoA). It's also looking for any delinquencies on the account (30 days late, etc) and how recent they are. That's about it.

    It's like saying paying off a mortgage should lower your credit score.

    Paying off your mortgage has the effect of reducing the variety of credit accounts you have open. It's treated as a type of installment loan. If you have others (like an auto loan, student loans, etc), the impact will be pretty small.

    In the end, what you need to understand is that the FICO score isn't about how smart you are, but about how likely it is you'll keep to the terms of credit extended to you at any given time. If you hold a mortgage, car loan, and several (very old) revolving accounts which are all in use and in good standing, you'll have a stellar credit score. If you've got collections, late payments, judgements, etc, then you're showing an inability or unwillingness to pay debts and your score will suffer. The area in between is basically left to showing how able you are to juggle a lot of different credit accounts and how responsible you are about not over-extending yourself just so you can have that dream vacation/new boat/etc. It's also important to remember that things like debt:income ratios, where you live, etc are NOT in your credit score. Your credit score is strictly a snapshot based on your current credit report and does nothing but measure the chances of you sticking to the terms of credit extended to you at that moment.

    If you want to know more, you should visit the MyFico.com forums. The people there make a hobby out of understanding how all this stuff works.

  • Banamex / MasterCard (Score:4, Informative)

    by John Bokma (834313) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @11:37AM (#40371705) Homepage

    I live in Mexico for nearly 9 years now. Last November my Banamex bankcard got stolen. This was reported in less than an hour at a nearby "sucursal" of Banamex (in the same shopping mall). A few days later my wife and I discovered that about 27,000 MXN (about 2,000 USD) had been withdrawn in two shops in the time between the cards got stolen and reported.

    So we went to the bank to report this. We talked to the bank manager (or supervisor), since we had talked to him earlier how to get money. Once your card is blocked you can only get money in the bank with identification, a copy of your contract (which they had on electronic file), and max. 3000 MXN (about 219 USD) for "security reasons" (right). Anyway, he couldn't care less, or that was our impression, but we ended up with a nice lady who really wanted to help us out, but was powerless against the unbelievable crappy way Banamex deals with customers in cases like this.

    There are two ways to report incidents like this: the "fast" way: reporting it by phone. And the slow way (or in my current experience the "forget about it" way) by paper. We were allowed to use the bank's phone, so we called Banamex. And called. And were put on hold. And when finally someone who could speak English was found -- I don't speak Spanish very well -- I was put on hold, or got disconnected (again). After 4 (!!!) hours of this we had to leave the bank since they really wanted to close down.

    We also went to one of the places they had shopped: Sam's Club. While we asked how it could happen that people could shop with my card the guy told us happily about how cards are cloned. I got the impression he was more into how cool this all was and what not instead of how "cool" is was for us, just before Christmas. Anyway, we learnt that 2 iPads had been bought at Sam's.

    The next day we went to the bank building I had opened my account with. After 2 hours of more of the same, and worse; at one point I talked to someone in English who plainly stated she couldn't help me after it had taken nearly 20 minutes to get transferred to her, we decided to take the slower paper route. We filled in a form, I signed it, and hoped for the best. This was the 2nd of December

    Right now? Still no money back. Even in Mexico the banks are insured for fraud (Banamex for 72 hrs after theft, if I understand correctly). We have contacted Banamex in every possible way, even via Facebook. I have contacted MasterCard, it's their shiny logo that's on my bankcard, but while they told they would escalate things with Banamex so far nothing has happened... Last resort seems to be CONDUSEF, but this being Mexico I don't have a good feeling about this (I do have some experience with PROFECO; an organizations that seems to "protect" consumer's rights).

    What surprises me is the piss-poor "security" of bank cards. They are cloned in seconds, and it wouldn't surprise me if the data is transferred via the Internet to a different location; the trip from the mall were the card was stolen to Sam's Club, where the iPads were bought, takes probably 10+ minutes and what I recall from the time stamps they got there unbelievable fast.

    A lot of companies get away with a lot. I don't understand why MasterCard can't put more pressure on Banamex; it's their logo on the card that got stolen. Is this logo just a meaningless shiny sticker? And I don't understand by Banamex behaves this piss poor; they are insured.

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