Stokkete, Pixsooz and Anton Gvozdikov via shutterstock

To protect consumers in the financial marketplace, we're working to reform credit bureaus, stop predatory loan sharks, end unfair banking practices and more.

Everybody should be able to manage their finances and plan for the future without having to worry about tricks, traps or rip-offs.

Unfortunately, the financial marketplace is full of unfair practices and dangerous financial products. Banks charge multiple overdraft fees in a single day, predatory lenders trap consumers in cycles of debt, and credit bureaus consistently fail to fix mistakes on Americans’ credit reports — just to name a few.

That’s why PIRG advocates monitor the financial marketplace and work closely with policymakers to end unfair practices and hold wrongdoers accountable.
Right now we’re focused on reforming the big three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and stopping predatory lending practices.

Financial institutions spend big to keep the status quo

Unfortunately, instead of working to solve these problems, too many financial institutions spend billions of dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to protect practices that take advantage of consumers or put them at financial risk.

Over the past two decades, the industry has spent more and more money to protect their own interests and hamper efforts to level the playing field for consumers.
SOURCE: Americans for Financial Reform, Wall Street Money in Washington, March 2021.

To counter the efforts of these powerful special interests to maintain the status quo, PIRG advocates and organizers are working to make sure:

  • Rules are put in place to eliminate unfair practices that put individuals and our economy at risk of financial harm.
  • Financial institutions are held accountable and consumers have recourse when the rules are broken.
  • Consumers are equipped with the information they need to protect themselves.
  • The government agencies that are supposed to protect consumers have the resources they need and can effectively go after companies that try to rig the system.
Mike Litt, PIRG’s consumer campaigns director, testifies before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on the need for greater consumer protections in the wake of the massive Equifax data breach of 2017.
Jonathan Comer
A fair marketplace is possible

We’ve successfully galvanized the public through decades of advocacy under the leadership of Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer program.

We cofounded Americans for Financial Reform, the coalition that helped get the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in the wake of the 2008 economic crash. Dodd-Frank reined in risky practices on Wall Street and created the CFPB, which is the first federal agency with the sole mission of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. From the time of its creation through 2020, the CFPB returned $12.9 billion to consumers and made 175 million people eligible for financial relief through its enforcement of the law.

We’re working to ensure our government uses of all its available tools for the strongest and most effective consumer protections possible.

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