Credit Card Fine Print Remains Indecipherable
... but at least there's hope on the way
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 3:20 PM CST
Read the fine print, if you can.   (AP Photo/Jochen Krause, File)

(Newser) – Read any good credit card agreements lately? Didn't think so. A follow-up to a July report on the readability of those contracts finds some improvement, but they're still mostly indecipherable and, in fact, beyond the reading comprehension of the average American, reports CreditCards.com. Consumers groups hope the new protection agency being set up by Elizabeth Warren will help, but that's probably at least a year away.

At Reuters, Felix Salmon thinks "somewhere in 2012" is a good guess on when we might see real progress "if we're lucky." He cites one egregious 15-page contract from Fifth Third. "I doubt one cardholder in a hundred could even begin to say what it means to 'honor claims of privilege recognized at law,'" he writes. "I certainly couldn’t." But he also singles out this example from the University of Illinois employee credit union: It's only two pages and free of "gratuitous legalese."

 

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