Feds Test Simplified Credit Card Agreement

Short form in plain English could become industry standard
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2011 2:20 AM CST
Feds Test Simplified Credit Card Agreements
The prototype test agreement is viewable in full at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/credit-cards/knowbeforeyouowe   (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

(Newser) – The government's consumer finance watchdog has created a credit card agreement that's five times shorter than usual and written in plain English. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking for the public's feedback on the prototype, which can be viewed here. The agreement is just over 1,000 words long and does away with much of the legalese that studies show befuddles up to two-thirds of credit card users, AP reports.

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There are no plans yet to make the form mandatory, but if it becomes standard, it will make it much easier for consumers to comparison shop. The CFPB, which is also establishing simplified mortgage forms, will test the form next year with new credit card applicants at the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. The American Bankers Association called the form a "good first step," but said credit card agreements could be made even shorter. (Read more Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stories.)

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