Like many personal finance writers and editors, I enjoy reading the latest studies on consumer spending to see if my behavior correlates with recent research.
According to a monthly survey compiled by Sentient Decision Science Inc., called the First Command Financial Behaviors Index, I’m right there with middle-class Americans who are simultaneously paying down old debt while taking on new loans.
It looks like regulators at the Federal Reserve Board were listening when consumer groups and others lambasted a new database of credit card agreements that debuted in May 2010.
Five months after its less-than-stellar debut, the database has had a quiet makeover.But don’t get your hopes up too quickly.
I still can’t find my individual credit card agreement on the Fed’s site. I searched in vain for my Citi Forward card agreement. No luck for me on that one, but others may have better luck, depending on the issuer and how many of their contracts are posted on the Fed’s site.
You no longer have to reach the store register with merchandise in hand, only to be told your gift card has a zero balance: American Express, MasterCard and Visa now let gift cardholders check how much money is left on their plastic without leaving home