Credit cardholders have little awareness
of changes in their cardholder agreements
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"Credit cardholders have little awareness
of changes in their cardholder agreements"

San Diego, CA -  "The growth of consumer credit and indebtedness has been explosive over the past ten years. Still, relatively few Americans bother to read over their credit card agreements when they first sign up perhaps missing important clauses such as 'universal default' and any limits on how long a low-ball interest rate might last. Now, according to a new survey conducted earlier this year by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG) of Westbury, NY, cardholders pay even less attention to changes in their cardholder agreements.

"Credit card issuers have long known about this fact, but never talk about it," said Paul S. Richard, a registered financial consultant (RFC) and the Executive Director of the award winning, nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) based in San Diego, CA. The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers become better spenders, regular savers and wise users of credit.

In telephone interviews with some 832 consumers who use one card most frequently, ACG reported that only about a third were aware that their card had been repriced or had their terms modified. About 60 percent said no and another eight percent indicated they didn't know.

Among the 272 respondents who said their terms or pricing had changed, 57 percent said the changes did not change their opinion of their issuer. Among the 42 percent, however, who said there was an impact, 60 percent of them reported a change in their opinion of the issuer for the worse and 36 percent said it was better.

"We didn't specifically ask what was the cause or reason for the repricing," said ACG's C. Scott Strumello. "I would say in the majority of cases when you're getting a change in terms . . . . the terms are seldom in the cardholder's favor," he added.

Strumello says because that well over half of the repsondents had no change in their opinion of the issuer after a change in terms probably indicates that many people don't read the issuers notice or understand it. The reasons for that may include the legalese of notices and the difficulty of assessing the importance or degree of the change unless the new notices is read in conjunction with earlier cardholder agreements or change-of-term notices, Strumello explained.

"Unless their APR is going up by a dramatic amount, it's not something they notice until much, much later," Strumello said, adding "Those who transfer balancesseem to have the best recall of terms or changes in their card pricing." No group surpassed 50 percent in the awareness category. Of college grads and heavy card users 38 percent were aware of changes, light card users, non-balance transfers and non college grads were all under 30 percent awareness.

For more information about a credit term changes and universal default, visit the ICFE's Web page at: http://www.financial-education-icfe.org OR contact Paul S. Richard at 619-239-1401. To receive the same information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to: ICFE, Credit Report Review,, PO Box 34070, San Diego, CA 92163-4070.
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About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP) designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels' and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.

The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from 'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.

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