More Than 8 in 10 American Cardholders Support Credit Card Interest Rate Cap, but Approval Wanes When Asked About Ramifications

June 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM EDT
About half of cardholders back a credit card rate cap like Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's proposal despite reduced access to credit and rewards

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 8 in 10 American credit cardholders would support some version of a credit card interest rate cap similar to the one recently proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to a new report from CompareCards.com. However, the report showed major cracks in support for a cap when cardholders were asked about what could happen if a cap took effect.

(PRNewsfoto/CompareCards)

CompareCards.com surveyed more than 1,000 credit cardholders for their views on the May 2019 proposal from Sen. Sanders (D-VT), one of the leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent nationwide. Though wide, bipartisan support exists for greater regulation of credit cards, approval for a rate cap fell sharply when asked about potential consequences.

Key findings

  • About half of American cardholders said they support Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to cap rates at 15 percent. Another 26 percent said they support a cap but think the maximum rate should be lower than 15 percent, and another 8 percent support a cap but think the maximum rate should be higher than 15 percent. In all, just 14 percent said they didn't support any form of the proposal.
  • 83 percent of cardholders said they feel there should be a cap on the rates a financial institution can charge, when asked broadly about rate caps rather than about a specific proposal.
  • 51 percent of cardholders said they would support a rate cap if it meant people with imperfect credit would have a significantly harder time obtaining a credit card.
  • 47 percent of cardholders said they would support a rate cap if it meant credit card rewards might get reduced significantly.
  • More than three in four cardholders agree there should be more laws and/or regulations in place to protect cardholders. 85 percent of Democrats agreed, as did 73 percent of Republicans.

"Americans love the idea of a credit card rate cap. It's one of the few things both Republicans and Democrats agree on these days, but that love isn't unconditional," said Matt Schulz, Chief Industry Analyst at CompareCards. "A large number of cardholders would say no thanks to a rate cap, or at least have second thoughts about one, if it would hinder access to credit or especially if it would lead to less lucrative credit card rewards. Both of those scenarios are distinct possibilities if a cap were to take effect."

To view the full report, visit https://www.comparecards.com/blog/half-of-cardholders-back-credit-card-rate-cap/.

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on our network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

About CompareCards:
CompareCards' mission is to help people make smarter, more informed, healthier financial decisions based on deeper knowledge of financial offers. Each month, over 2.9 million visitors come to CompareCards' website to independently compare credit cards side-by-side and choose a credit card based on interest rate, reward benefit, cost savings, and other factors that are important to each person. CompareCards provides easy-to-use, objective tools and educational resources that help people do everything from making credit card comparisons to managing their credit health. For more information, please visit www.comparecards.com.

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