The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest monthly report revealed that credit card complaints represent approximately 11% of total product complaints from consumers.  Late fees and credit report problems due to confusing payment processing schedules are the most frequent complaint topics for consumers.  Other problems identified by consumers include:

  • Billing issues related to surprise late fees based on unclear representations that same-day credit of payment would not be performed;
  • Inaccuracies on billing statements;
  • Closure of credit card accounts without consent; and
  • Identity theft/embezzlement/fraud.

From July 2011 to October 1, 2015, the CFPB has handled approximately 79,500 complaints related to credit cards.  During the same period, the CFPB has handled 726,000 complaints about all financial products and services in the United States.  According to the CFPB’s monthly report:

Overall, the CFPB saw a 9 percent reduction in complaint volume between August and September 2015.  In a year-to-year comparison, complaints about debt settlement, credit repair and check cashing showed the greatest percentage increase.  Complaints about these products, which the bureau classifies as “other financial services complaints,” rose 97 percent from the same time period last year.

At the beginning of 2015, U.S. consumers carried more than $700 billion in credit card debt.  Indeed, credit card debt represents 10% of all revenue collected in the credit and collection industry, after healthcare-related debt (37.9 %) and student loan debt (25.2 %) according to an ACA International and Ernst & Young study on the impact of third-party debt collection on national and state economies in 2013.