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Overdraft America: Confusion and Concerns About Bank Practices

May 3, 2012

Based on a survey, examines the prevalence of overdraft penalty and transfer fees by age and income, as well as consumer satisfaction with overdraft fee options. Makes policy recommendations.

Slipping Behind: Low-Income Los Angeles Households Drift Further From the Financial Mainstream

October 18, 2011

Surveys trends among low-income households without bank accounts, barriers to opening or maintaining accounts, continued use of alternative financial services, and impact of the city's Bank on LA program to promote banking. Makes policy recommendations.

Business Credit Cards Place U.S. Households at Risk

May 18, 2011

Outlines potentially harmful practices prohibited on consumer credit cards but not on business credit cards, including unpredictable pricing structures and penalty interest rate increases. Recommends applying the Credit CARD Act more broadly.

Two Steps Forward: After the Credit CARD Act, Credit Cards Are Safer and More Transparent -- But Challenges Remain

July 21, 2010

Assesses changes in banks' and credit unions' credit card rates, penalties, fees, and other practices following the 2009 reforms as well as remaining challenges. Offers policy recommendations with respect to disclosure, penalty rates, and monitoring.

Unbanked by Choice: A Look at How Low-Income Los Angeles Households Manage the Money They Earn

July 20, 2010

Compares the financial behavior of low-income households using bank accounts, alternative financial services, and cash only; outcomes in terms of savings; and factors behind their choices. Considers implications for policy and banks and credit unions.