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Complaints against credit card companies diminish

Nov 07, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

Perhaps in response to new regulations such as the Credit CARD Act, credit card issuers throughout the country appear to be treating customers and debtors more fairly. According to a study released Tuesday by Consumer Reports, only 12 percent of Americans feel credit card companies had treated them unfairly. That figure is down from 15 percent last year and 22 percent in 2009 - the year the CARD Act was signed into law. Approval rates are also on the rise, with only 14 percent claiming to be denied, compared to 24 percent in 2010, although that figure may also be in response to consumers' growing reluctance to incur further debt amid widespread economic uncertainty. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last month that student debt is now higher than credit card dues. "Things are looking rosier for credit-card holders," said Noreen Perrotta, finance editor at Consumer Reports. "Consumers are paying down balances and facing fewer punitive actions by credit card companies such as higher rates, late-payment fees and canceled cards. But average interest rates on new cards are still up and you have to read the fine print of rewards programs."