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Kip Tips

Find a Worry-Free Credit Card

Taking a look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card complaint database can help you find out which cards you should avoid.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began accepting credit card complaints in July 2011, but until recently consumers couldn’t see the complaints of other disgruntled credit card users. Now the CFPB has made its credit card complaint database available to the public at www.consumerfinance.gov.

SEE ALSO: 11 Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

You can see which card issuers get the most complaints and how the issues were resolved. As of June 19, Capital One, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America were responsible for about 100 complaints –– about 70% of the total filed since the beginning of the month. The companies usually respond with an explanation or a small financial settlement.

If you have a problem with your card account, your first call should be to your credit card issuer. But if that doesn’t resolve the problem, call the CFPB toll-free (855-411-2372) or submit your complaint online at www.consumerfinance.gov. Don’t worry about your name or account information appearing in the database — the bureau uses an assigned ID number and your ZIP code to identify complaints.

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After the agency screens your complaint, it is sent via a secure Web portal to the credit card company, which has 15 days to respond and 60 days to resolve each complaint. You can dispute the company’s explanation or resolution within 30 days of its response. Since last July, credit card companies have responded to 13,240 complaints, or 94% of those sent to the CFPB, according to the agency.