This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Credit Card Complaints Made Public

NEW YORK (LowCards.com) -- Ever wanted to know which is the most hated credit card provider of all?

Despite protests from the financial industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made its online credit card complaint database available to the public since last week. The information won't just be good for consumers of the Consumerist-mold looking to be entertained by the zaniest comments and most tone-deaf responses from banks. It can be used to obtain invaluable advice on how to get the most from your credit card company when it's time to complain, as well as how to avoid the worst before a complaint is even necessary.

The information shows which issuers have had the most complaints on their cards and how specific complaints were ultimately handled. The data can be viewed online by company, consumer zip code and type of complaint.

The CFPB began taking credit card complaints on July 21, 2011. Through June 1, 2012, the Bureau had received nearly 17,000 credit card complaints.

Billing disputes are the most common complaint, followed by interest rate issues. More than 2,000 complaints received financial compensation from the issuer to the consumer with $25 being the most common amount of compensation (the median amount was $130).

"By making our data publicly available, initially in the area of credit cards, we hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement.

Until now, complaints against lenders were kept private. There was no way to include complaints or response rates when comparing credit card issuers.

The CFPB will update the database. It reviews each complaint and forwards the ones that meet its criteria to the appropriate company for review and resolution. Companies have 15 days to provide a response to each consumer complaint. Most complaints are expected to be resolved and closed within 60 days. The filer can track the progress of the complaint and dispute the resolution provided by the financial institution. If the CFPB finds possible legal violations, it will work with other parts of the Bureau to deal with potential violation. The database will not include private information.

The CFPB may expand its database to include complaints on other financial products and consumer loans such as mortgages and private student loans.

And of course, feel free to complain. Consumers wishing to file a complaint about credit cards may do so on the CFPB website here.

--By Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of LowCards.com, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook."

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs