Now this is rich: Credit card companies apparently monitor your spending and cut credit lines when they think you’ve gone morally astray. So if you’ve been to a marriage counselor, run up a bar tab, gone to a billiard hall, or visited a massage parlor, your credit issuer might limit your credit in return.
The allegations that credit firms go far beyond FICO scores for credit decisions came in lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta by the Federal Trade Commission against subprime card issuer CompuCredit. The FTC contended the firm didn’t properly disclose these practices, BusinessWeek says, in a story entitled “Your lifestyle may hurt your credit.” The FTC suit “offers a rare look inside the opaque business of credit scoring,” the story explains. From BusinessWeek:
It reveals a mechanism that consumer advocates and politicians have long suspected exists—one in which purchasing behavior, not just payment history, matters.
So. Credit card firms spent much of the last decade heavily marketing their products to anyone who could breathe, mass-mailing pre-approved applications to children, dogs, and people who had never paid a bill on time in their lives. They hid fees in the fine print, hiked interest rates on people for reasons they never understood, and piled on charges to consumers who fell behind, keeping them in a permanent state of debt. And now they’re claiming higher moral standards in determining who gets credit and how much they get. Credit card firms as moral arbiters? Has it really come to this?
Apparently it has. BusinessWeek says more financial firms are looking closely at consumer behavior in deciding creditworthiness. Since companies don’t have to reveal the ways they come up with credit decisions, people can’t tell what formula was used to either deny or limit their credit, and they won’t know whether the decision was made in a fair and proper way. We talked about another problem with credit decisions earlier this week, noting that credit bureaus and credit card companies are accused of offering better treatment to powerful and important customers, such as judges and politicians. I wonder if card issuers will monitor those VIPs in the same way.
To see the flip-side of decisions made by credit card companies, listen to stories from people in Granger, Ind., who have turned to a support group for help as they grapple with credit card debts.
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan
Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.