Many U.S. consumers report issues with credit cards, including problems resolving fraudulent charges and being victims of identify theft, according to a new report.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on March 28 released its monthly complaint snapshot highlighting common consumer complaints about credit cards.
“Credit cards are a vital financial tool used daily by more than half of all adults in this country,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a news release. “Consumers deserve clear guidance and need to be able to resolve problems that arise with their cards.”
As of March 1 of this year, the CFPB had handled approximately 116,200 credit card complaints since the bureau began accepting consumer complaints in July 2011, according to the release.
Some of the major issues identified in the report include:
• Fraudulent charges. Consumers describe difficulties in having fraudulent charges removed even after receiving notification from their card company that the dispute had been resolved in their favor.
• Reward programs. Consumers report issues redeeming benefits after meeting requirements of bonus points programs, miles programs, cash back programs and travel benefits programs.
• Identity theft. Consumers complain about credit card accounts being fraudulently opened in their name even after an alert was placed on their credit file.
The CFPB report also highlighted trends seen in consumer complaints coming from Massachusetts and the Boston metro area. Mortgage-related complaints accounted for 26% of all complaints submitted by consumers from Massachusetts, while mortgage complaints accounted for 24% of complaints submitted to the bureau nationally. Complaints related to debt collection accounted for 20% of all complaints submitted to the bureau by consumers from Massachusetts, which is lower than the 27% rate of debt collection complaints submitted nationally, according to the report.
Data in the report uses a three-month rolling average of complaints sent by the bureau to companies for response, according to the release.
To read the full report, click here.