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How to file a complaint about a credit card issuer

Consumer financial watchdog is one-stop shop for complaints

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Want to complain about a credit card issuer? How to file a complaint about a credit card issuer

When you've exhausted remedies with the company, it may be time to file a complaint.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a one-stop place for credit card holders to resolve complaints they may have with a credit card issuer.

The agency's Web-based Consumer Response Center allows credit card holders to file complaints online or via a toll-free number: 1-855-411-CFPB (2372). 

Consumers can log complaints about a host of different credit card problems, including billing, advertising, fees, interest rates, rewards and collection problems.If you wish, you may also write a description of the problem you are having. The agency publishes complaint information on its Website, but excludes your identifying information.

Each complaint is assigned a tracking number. Consumers are directed to contact the issuer first to allow the company to resolve the dispute. If there is no resolution, the CFPB investigates the complaint to determine if any consumer protection laws were violated and if enforcement action is needed. Consumers can log in to the CFPB's complaint system to track the status of their credit card complaints using the tracking number assigned to their cases.

Got a credit card beef?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau collects credit card complaints via a Web-based complaint form or through a toll-free number: 1-855-411-2372 (CFPB)

Before the CFPB opened its complaint window in 2011, no single regulatory agency handled consumer complaints about credit cards. Depending on the lender's charter, consumers had to contact one of five different agencies.The CFPB handles complaints about banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets.(It updates the list of regulated banks quarterly on its Website, under "Depository institutions under CFPB jurisdiction.")

If your complaint concerns a bank or credit union smaller than that, the CFPB forwards the complaint to the institution's primary regulator for review. Here is contact information for the federal regulators. Click on the links to go to the agency websites or call, write or fax the agencies.

  • The Federal Reserve Board regulates banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System and some state banks. Online, go to the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Help site. Write to: Federal Reserve Consumer Help, P.O. Box 1200, Minneapolis, MN 55480. Call: 888-851-1920. Fax: 877-888-2520.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulates national banks that have the word "national" or initials "N.A." in their names. Online, visit the OCC's HelpWithMyBank.gov's consumer complaint page, Contact the Customer Assistance Group at: 1301 McKinney St., Suite 3450, Houston, TX 77010. Call: 800-613-6743.
  • The National Credit Union Administration regulates federal credit unions. They have the word "federal" in their names or are located in Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming or Washington, D.C. In general, federal credit unions have charter numbers that are below 60,000 while state credit unions have charter numbers greater than 60,000. Online, the NCUA consumer complaint page can help you file a complaint. Write the NCUA at: 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428. Call: 800-755-1030.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) investigates complaints about banks and institutions that are FDIC-insured. Online, see the FDIC's consumer assistance form. Write to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Consumer Response Center, 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64108-2638. Call 877-275-3342 (ASK-FDIC).
  • State banking regulators oversee state-chartered banks and state-chartered credit unions. Either online or with the phone book, check your state's directory of agencies. In Florida, for instance, it is the Office of Financial Regulation. In New York, it is the New York State Banking Department.

The CFPB also acts on complaints about other financial services including mortgages, bank accounts, auto loans, student loans, prepaid cards, debt collectors, credit reporting, money transfers and other financial services including check cashing, credit repair, debt settlement and refund anticipation loans.

The Federal Trade Commission is the place to report scams, unwanted telemarketing calls and identity theft. Use the agency's complaint assistance page or call 877-382-4375 (FTC-HELP).

Finally, many local communities have consumer affairs offices that may offer advice on resolving your problem.

See related: Most banks invisible on federal complaint website; A comprehensive guide to the Credit CARD Act

Updated: February 5, 2016


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Updated: 02-06-2016


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