U.S. PIRG Applauds CFPB Call for Greater Disclosure | U.S. PIRG
By Ethan Senack / uspirg.org

NEWS RELEASE

Contact

Ethan Senack,

U.S. PIRG APPLAUDS CFPB CALL FOR GREATER DISCLOSURE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Washington, DC — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) called on financial institutions to publicly disclose all of their card agreements with colleges and universities. Currently, institutions only need to disclose agreements regarding credit cards, but not debit, checking, or prepaid cards.

The CFPB also released their annual report on the campus credit card marketplace, which found that preferred lender and other agreements between colleges and financial institutions have decreased since the passage of the CARD Act in 2008. Specifically, college and credit card company agreements have fallen by 41%, and, as a whole, in 2012 colleges were given 40% less money by credit card companies than in 2009.

As a result of strong public disclosure and consumer protection rules, consumers are being made aware of the tricks and traps that were layered into credit cards marketed on campus,” noted Ethan Senack, higher education associate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer organization with student members. “But at the same time, financial institutions are using the lack of disclosure requirements around debit and checking cards to keep students in the dark."

We support the CFPB’s call for financial institutions to publicly disclose all agreements they make with colleges and universities. Students have a right to know the details.”

While the use of campus credit cards dwindles, two in five students now carry a debit card issued through their campus.

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a new rule-making process to re-evaluate how these debit cards work on campus, while the CFPB launched an investigation into the campus banking marketplace. At a CFPB forum on campus banking this September, several student representatives spoke out against the campus debit card trap.

Meghan Johnson, a sophomore at Iowa State University, said that “Several issues continue to bother me about the USBank debit/checking cards living on our student IDs. I think that we need more options offered to us as college students at Iowa State. When there is only one checking/debit option, then we are captive to whatever fees are pushed on to us. If there were more banking options available, then we can shop around and find the account with the fees and other features we want.”

Bill Campbell, a senior at Western Washington University, summed up his remarks this way: “The company Higher One and our administration illicitly ushered in a new system for financial aid refunds on our campus. The system was laden with fees and created an undue burden for our students. Through our referendum process the students at Western voted against Higher one and negotiated a re-evaluation of the contract. Students do have power and we will not stand being taken advantage of".

Mario Parker-Milligan, the legislative director for the Oregon Student Association and the former student body president at Lane Community College, said: “The Higher One contract at LCC is increasing student debt there… Higher One helps itself to its fees through our loan dollars. And the college is letting that happen.”

Some cards are preloaded with student’s financial aid, and some are linked up to their student identification cards. Students with these accounts are hit with higher fees than what they would pay at a local bank, while the neediest students receiving the most financial aid are targeted with fees that aren’t fully disclosed and are hard to avoid. Banks and financial firms make millions and millions in revenue each year from these fees. A U.S. PIRG report issued in 2012 documented the extent of the problems in the debit card marketplace and an ABC investigation found that TCF Bank hits students with a $37 hidden fee at the University of Minnesota – while the university was given $34 for each new student customer.

U.S. PIRG supports the CFPB’s call to bring campus debit agreements out of the shadows, and calls on Congress and federal regulators to enact strong consumer protections for student debit card-holders. Those include banning fees for student access to federal financial aid, encouraging students to send their financial aid dollars to a third party bank account, enacting public disclosure of debit card agreements between colleges and banks, and halting co-branding of debit and check cards between colleges and banks.

#  #  #

 

 U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. www.uspirg.org

2.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
This Text Message Exchange Between a Mother and Daughter is Pure Gold
Belinda Hankins · 8,798 views today · When Belinda Hankins got a text message from her 13-year-old daughter, who was shopping for period products, it started an exchange that will resonate with women everywhere. Enjoy.
10 Provocative Quotes from Ivan Illich's "Deschooling Society"
Daniel Lattier · 8,375 views today · Ivan Illich’s groundbreaking book Deschooling Society (1971) offers a radical critique of the institutionalization of education within modern societies. Illich believed that we...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 4,604 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 3,389 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 2,765 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
What You Might Notice If You Forgot Your Phone For a Day
2 min · 2,488 views today · There is a moment happening right in front of you, right this second, and you just might be missing it
Ikigai - Finding Your Reason for Being
Chip Richards · 1,944 views today · What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning? When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 1,845 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 1,646 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 1,495 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,199 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 1,170 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
Throw (2016)
10 min · 1,105 views today · The first installment of Invisible Thread, an ongoing ELM passion project series, Throw tells the story of an outsider from East Baltimore, an area challenged by gang violence...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 986 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 646 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Forest Man
16 min · 610 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 604 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 527 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 492 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
Doctors Response to Daily Mail Bigotry is Beautiful
Neil Tiwari · 476 views today · A poetic open letter to the Daily Mail newspaper from Dr. Neil Tiwari, in response to a bigoted attack on his colleagues, is going viral and it's beautiful.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
U.S. PIRG Applauds CFPB Call for Greater Disclosure | U.S. PIRG