The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to improve disclosures for mortgages, credit cards and student loans.
(MONEY magazine) -- The country's new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking aim at big financial firms and small print, while itself enduring fire inside the Beltway.
Joining the CFPB in January, director Richard Cordray quickly ordered wire-transfer companies to spell out all the costs of sending money. The lasting impact of this and other moves is unclear, given Republican attacks on both the agency's powers and the constitutionality of Cordray's appointment.
But barging ahead, the CFPB plans to improve disclosures for mortgages, credit cards, and student loans -- cornerstones of Americans' finances.
The watchdog also wants tighter reins on mortgage brokers, rules for assessing borrowers' ability to repay, and guidelines for financial advisers serving the elderly. Consumer advocates hope, too, for easier dispute resolutions at credit bureaus -- a fix with real impact, they argue, on borrowing costs.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's authority extends to key areas of Americans' finances, such as:
Credit cards: Average number of cards per cardholder 7.3
Mortgages: Average closing costs $4,070
Student debt: Average amount owed by graduates $28,100
Sources: Census Bureau, Bankrate.com, College Board
Do you know a Money Hero? MONEY magazine is celebrating people, both famous and unsung, who have done extraordinary work to improve others' financial well-being. Send an email to nominate your Money Hero.
|What we want Apple to unveil at WWDC|
|Millennials squeezed out of buying a home|
|7 traits the rich have in common|
|Big Data knows you're sick, tired and depressed|
|Your car is a giant computer - and it can be hacked|
Carlos Rodriguez is trying to rid himself of $15,000 in credit card debt, while paying his mortgage and saving for his son's college education.
Susan Carson and Laura DeLallo make $225,000 and have half a million in retirement savings, but their sprawling portfolios is proving hard to manage.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.90%||3.88%|
|15 yr fixed||3.06%||3.03%|
|30 yr refi||3.96%||3.94%|
|15 yr refi||3.11%||3.12%|
Today's featured rates: