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«Dr. Robert D. Manning Caroline Werner Gannett Professor of Humanities Rochester Institute of Technology Hearing on “The Role of FCRA in the Credit ...»

-- [ Page 4 ] --

To Ann, six months without payments seemed like an eternity and interest free, too. She couldn’t wait to feel the plush new carpet under her bare feet. When the first bill arrived, she did not realize that the free financing clock started ticking on the date of the sale contract NOT the day of installation. So instead of six months of no payments it was really only five months. When the second bill arrived, Ann did not understand why there was a monthly finance charge of $20.88 and simply reminded herself that it was interest free. Afterall, the Home Depot salesman assured her that there were no finance charges on the purchase. And, everyone was complimenting her on how nice the new carpet looked.

It was only after six months had passed that Ann understood the financial realities of the “promotional offer.” The accrued interest charges of $125 was now added to the $1,619 sale price at an annual percentage finance rate (APR) of 15.48 percent. With a minimum monthly payment of $25, it was manageable but will require 15 years to pay it off assuming no additional charges. And, the conveniently low minimum payment obscured the total cost of the carpet at the end of the 15 year period--$4,489. Needless to say, no one mentioned that increasing the monthly payment by only $10 would cut the payoff period in half to only 7 ½ years and thus reduce the final cost to “only” $2,811.

Or, that lowering the APR by only 3 percentage points (12.48%) would reduce the payoff period to 10 ½ years and the total cost to $3,124.

Ann was interviewed for this article in March 2003 and requested that her last name not be identified.

–  –  –

Ausubel, Lawrence. 1991. “The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market.” American Economic Review, March:50-81.

Calder, Lendol. 1999. Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Canner, Glenn B. and Charles A. Luckett. 1999. “Payment of Household Debts,” Federal Reserve Bulletin, April, pp. 218-229.

Card Industry Directory 2003 Edition. 2002. Thompson Publishers.

Caskey, John P. 1994. Fringe Banking: Check Cashing Outlets, Pawnshops, and the Poor. New York, Russell Sage.

Consumer Federation of America (CFA). 2002. “Credit Card Issuers Expand Marketing and Available Credit, Consumers Increasingly Say No.” Washington, D.C., Consumer Federation of America.

Daly, James J. 2002. "A Little Help From Uncle Sam, Government Intervention Never Looked Better Than It Did in 2001." Credit Card Management, March, pp. 3-7.

Draut, Tamara. 2003. Trying to Make Ends Meet: The Growth of Credit Card Debt.

New York: Demos Final Report.

Drentea, Patrica. 2000. “Age, Debt and Anxiety.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 41:437-450.

Drentea, Patrica and Paul J. Lavrakas.. 2000. “Over the limit: the association among health, race and debt.” Social Science & Medicine 50:517-529.

Durkin, Thomas A. 2000. “Credit Cards: Use and Consumer Attitudes, 1970-2000.” U.S. Federal Reserve, September, pp. 623-634.

Dymski, Gary A. 1999. The Bank Merger Wave: The Economic Causes and Social Consequences of Financial Consolidation. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Glasberg, Davita Silfen and Dan Skidmore. 1997. Bank Deregulation and the Savings and Loan Bailout. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Lazarony, Lucy. 2002. “Watch out: $35 late fees on credit cards” Bankrate.com.

Macey, Jonathan R. and Geoffrey P. Miller. 1997. Banking Law and Regulation. New York: Aspen Publishers.

Nellie Mae. 2002. Undergraduate Students and Credit Cards. Boston: Nellie Mae.

Mandell, Lewis. 1990. The Credit Card Industry: A History. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

____________. 1998, 2000, 2002. Our Vulnerable Youth: The Financial Literacy of American 12th Graders: A Failure by Any Measure. Washington, D.C.: JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

Manning, Robert D. 1999. Credit Cards on Campus, The Social Consequences of Student Debt. Washington, D.C.: Consumer Federation of America.

________________. 2000. Credit Card Nation, The Consequences of America’s Addiction to Credit. New York: Basic Books.

________________. 2002. “Credit Cards on Campus: A Growing Collegiate Crisis or Benign Societal Trend?” Testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Washington, D.C.

________________. 2003a. “Predatory Plastic.” Special issue of Southern Exposure Magazine, “Banking on Misery,” edited by Michael Hudson ________________. 2003b. “Aging Into Debt.” In Encyclopedia of Financial Gerontology, edited by L Vitt and J. Siegenthaler. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, forthcoming.

________________. 2004. Give Yourself Credit. San Francisco: Alta Mira Press, forthcoming.

Nocera, Joseph. 1994. A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class. New York: Simon & Shuster.

Pinto, Mary Beth, Diane H. Parente, and Todd S. Palmer. 2000. “College Students’ Credit Card Debt and the Role of Parental Involvement: Implications for Public Policy,” Journal for Public Policy and Marketing, 20 (1):105-113.

Punch, Linda. 2003. “Fading Pay,” Credit Card Management, June, p. 42.

Schor, Juliet B. 1998. The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer. New York: Harper Collins.

Staten, Michael E. and John M. Barron. 2002. “College Students and Credit Cards,” Credit Research Center, Georgetown University, unpublished report.

Sullivan, Teresa A., Elizabeth Warren, and Jay L. Westbrook. 2000. The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Tucker, David M. 1991. The Decline of Thrift in America: Our Cultural Shift from Saving to Spending. New York: Praeger.

U.S. Department of Education. 2002. Student Financing of Undergraduate Education:

1999-2000. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Statistics.

U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 2003. “Quarterly Banking Profile, First Quarter 20003.” Washington, D.C.

U.S. Federal Reserve Board. 2002. “The Profitability of Credit Operations in Federal Depository Institutions.” Washington, D.C., June.

U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. 2001. Hearing on “Abusive Credit Card Industry Practices,” November 1.

Warren, Elizabeth. 2002. “The Market for Data: The Changing Role of Social Sciences in Shaping the Law.” Wisconsin Law Review: 1-43.

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