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Overdraft Loans: The Impact

  • CRL was among the first organizations to publish research in the mid-2000s exposing the total cost of overdraft fees; the relatively small transaction sizes that most frequently triggered the fees; and the large portion of fees triggered by debit card transactions, which could easily be declined for no fee when the account lacked sufficient funds.
  • CRL relied on its research as the foundation of its advocacy efforts to bring reform of overdraft practices to the marketplace.
  • Its research was cited by Federal Reserve in the agency’s 2010 rule that began requiring financial institutions to obtain consumers’ “opt-in” before charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions. Though this rule did not address the substantive problems with the product that continue today, it was followed by a substantial reduction in overdraft fees consumers pay annually.
  • CRL continues to study overdraft practices and be a leader among organizations urging fair checking account practices for consumers.

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