Don’t Worry–The Government Will Do That for You


Don't Worry--The Government Will Do That For YouThings we want to do:

  • Jump in a pool
  • Eat a popsicle
  • Take a nap

Things we don’t want to do:

  • Pore over a complicated loan application
  • Figure out the nitty-gritty of a credit card agreement
  • Worry about the economic fate of the credit market

You’re on your own when it comes to finding time for a nap, but we can give you clearance to remove your scholarly spectacles. The fate of the credit market no longer rests solely in your tireless hands.

This bureau will be looking out for you when you borrow money or use any financial products. Its goal is to protect consumers.

Today, the government is launching an independent agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is supposed to do all of that high-level worrying for you. It’ll oversee all of the financial products that consumers like us are likely to use: mortgages, checking accounts and debit and credit cards. Its goal? To make things fair and transparent for Americans.

What’ll It Do?

Basically, the CFPB will be looking out for you when you borrow money or use any financial products like credit cards, checking accounts, etc.

This is important because, until now, consumer protection oversight has been distributed among seven agencies, which makes it difficult to implement drastic changes.

While the full details of the bureau haven’t been ironed out yet, here’s what  it’s supposed to achieve:

  • Create guidelines to help people understand the costs and benefits of credit agreements
  • Create more transparency with financial products so regular Americans understand what they’re getting into
  • Improve credit markets by eliminating overly complicated financial structures
  • Oversee previously unregulated agencies like payday lenders, debt collectors, check cashers, credit-reporting agencies and private student-loan companies (To find out how to consolidate your student loans, click here.)
  • Enforce financial laws, which should help promote fair competition among financial companies
  • Set up a new toll-free consumer hotline and website to review complaints and questions from people like us

What’s in It for You

Even before the CFPB opens on July 21, you can view the beta version of its website and submit questions or suggestions.

Protect Yourself

Learn how to monitor your credit report

The goal is for you to understand the financial products you’re interested in and make sure you’re actually a good fit for them. While change may not happen immediately, look out for clearer paperwork and more questions about your financial situation when you fill out your mortgage applications.

Once the hotline is up and running, you will be able to ask questions, share feedback and make complaints about your financial products and services.

  • Michael Harr @ TodayForward

    If I remember correctly, this was Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild for many years.  I’ve listened to her speak before Congressional committees and she’s done nothing but impress.  Hopefully, the CFPD will come to fruition in the ways that she has spoken about so often in the past.  Oversight is long overdue for these institutions that have preyed on unwary consumers.

  • Arlie Anderson

    Safe to say there have been multiple regulations over the past few years in the respective financial industries which have fueled debate on both sides of the issue of transparency.  I think it’s good to a degree but when it starts to hinder consumers options it can reach a point of diminishing returns.  The mortgage industry in particular needed a way to regulate providers to protect consumers which I can assure have made serious headway since the subprime mortgage crisis.