More than likely, later today, credit card issuers will have the option to get their hands on a new, simplified credit card agreement from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The bureau is trying to standardized the way consumers get applications for credit cards in addition to making them simpler to read. To do this they have created a two-page agreement that would be accompanied by an online glossary that provides a place for definitions of legal terms.
You will be able to see this document later today on the bureau’s website found here, http://www.consumerfinance.gov
As of right now, the use of this new credit card application is voluntary. Although major card issuers are generally in favor of greater disclosure, they are not keen on standardization of this magnitude. Having these types of restrictions could impede the types of products offered down the road.
In addition to this new agreement, the Financial Protection Bureau is also preparing an “owners manual” for card users that provide information on what customers should do in certain situations, such as losing their credit card.
Nick Bourke, manager of the Safe Credit Cards Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit research group, said the clearer disclosures would help sound decision-making. However, I disagree with that statement. I believe that consumers are looking for something or someone to blame for their carelessness. Since most people cannot take responsibility for their own actions, the finger needs to be pointed somewhere. The card issuers are not at fault here, the consumers are.
Creating new documentation that is supposed to be simple to read and understand is not going to make consumers more responsible.