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10 most readable credit card agreements analysis of major card issuers contracts finds best, worst


Unlike the 10 most unreadable credit card agreements, these 10 are a breeze to read. Readability Study finds major card issuers' contracts unreadable by most Americans
Experts in readability say that contracts should require, at most, a ninth-grade reading level if they are to be widely understood. These credit card agreements easily met that test, as measured by readability programs in a analysis of more than 1,200 credit card contracts in a new Federal Reserve database. The agreements were analyzed using the "FOG Index" -- a mathematical formula that determines how many years of education readers need in order to understand the content.

Rank Contract issuer
Reading level (years)
Number of words
1. University of Illinois Employees Credit Union 6 280
2. ESL Federal Credit Union 6.4 490
3. Affinity Federal Credit Union 6.5 395
4. MidFlorida Credit Union 6.5 309
5. Associated Credit Union 6.6 421
6. OnPoint Community Credit Union 6.6 528
7. S.C. State Credit Union 6.7 424
8. State Department Federal Credit Union 6.8 615
9. University of Michigan Credit Union 6.8 447
10. Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union 6.9
Source: analysis of the credit card agreements contained in a database maintained by the Federal Reserve. Under the Credit CARD Act of 2009, all U.S. credit card issuers with more than 10,000 credit card accounts must submit their agreements to the Fed every three months.

See related: MAIN STORY: Credit card agreements unreadable to 4 of 5 Americans, 10 most unreadable credit card agreements, 10 wordiest credit card agreements, Readability of credit card agreements from biggest 20 banksHow credit card agreements' readability compares to familiar documents, Quotable: What lawmakers, consumer activists, bankers say, 3 language experts try to make sense of a card agreement, Federal database of credit card agreements not user friendly, Video: Consumers try in vain to understand credit card agreements

Published: July 22, 2010

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