Credit Card Complaint Database Available to Public

Did you ever wish you could find out what people really had to say about their credit cards, both the good and the bad?   Have you ever wished you could check out official complaints about credit cards before actually applying for them?   If you have then you will be interested in a new official government database which is now available to the public which offers you the opportunity to “read all about it” when it comes to complaints about credit cards.

The credit card complaint database is offered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Information is updated daily, so you don’t have to worry about searching through online reviews for the most recent information about a credit card you currently use or or are considering using.  The complaints are not confirmed for accuracy, but the relationship between the consumer and the credit card is confirmed for accuracy.

To make your search easier you can search according to issues or even zip code.  Easy to read graphs are available as search results.

The is some “fine print” to the database information including:

  • limited to first credit card complaints received since June 1 for banks with more than $10 billion in assets.
  • it is currently in its beta version and it plans to expand to bigger banks by the end of 2012.
  • checks not only to determine a relationship between the credit and credit card holder but also to see if duplicate grievances are being filed.
  • hopes to expand to include mortgages and other financial product complaints,  not just credit cards.
  • The credit card companies are required to respond within 15 days and to close the complaint with an action in 60 days.
  • The database includes the type of complaint, the complainant’s ZIP code, the name of the company, and a description of what action, if any, the company took in response.

The banking industry of course is against the complaint database being made public citing privacy issues as well as the ability of “just anyone” to “tarnish” the name of banks or credit cards. In an recent Fox News article Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, said “Why publish the amount of complaints against a specific company when there are many complaints that at the end of the day are not justified? “There is a significant chance of a reputational hit.”

Kenneth Clayton, the American Bankers Association’s executive vice president of legislative affairs and chief counsel, “called the release of the database disappointing and potentially misleading to consumers,” stating, “publicizing allegations that may or may not have any basis in fact raises serious questions about the balanced review we expect from our government agencies.”

There are also complaints by the banking industry that the information doesn’t include smaller banks.

However, the CFPC says, “Consumers can look at this data and can fairly draw the conclusion that if they engage in a financial relationship with the company this is what they can expect,” said Scott Pluta, acting assistant director of the Office of Consumer Response of the CFPB.  Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said in a Reuters statement “Making credit card complaints public will put added pressure on banks to avoid unfair practices and help consumers make more informed financial decisions,” .

Wonder what you will find when you visit the database?   Currently Capital One is in the lead for the most complaints since June 1.  Next is CitiGroup, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America.  The most common complaint is disputed charges.

The CFPB has been accepting complaints since it began in 2008.  These complaints have included those related to student loans, mortgages, loan modifications,  foreclosures, and other bank products.

Do you have a complaint that you will be filing in the database?