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Rising inflation ‘will cause more’ car and credit card debt, warns CFPB director Chopra

Bureau of Consumer Protection and Finance director Rohit Chopra said he and his staff were “looking” at inflation data to understand how rising prices would affect the consumer financial sector the regulator oversees for a while. a meeting with the Washington Post on Thursday.

“The top of the list and the components of inflation that we see are related to automobiles,” Chopra said. “Outstanding car loans in the United States are already well over $1 trillion, and I expect that amount to grow further and more Americans to look to buy cars, but they find them very expensive.”

“When it comes to car loans, making sure people can shop, refinance and navigate a competitive market is very important when you think about the total cost of car ownership,” he added. .

Annual consumer price inflation rose to 7.5% in January, according to a report released Thursday by the Labor Department, in part due to a record 12% rise in the prices of new cars and trucks, the fastest increase ever recorded.

“Obviously, there are other components of inflation that can lead to increased credit card debt,” Chopra added. “I’m very concerned that consumers don’t always face a competitive market when it comes to interest rates on their credit cards.”

The CFPB recently announced it was seeking information on what it called “unwanted fees” charged by banks, credit unions, mortgages and other loan officers, and Chopra said that investigation is made. made even more significant by the general rise in prices that consumers are experiencing elsewhere in the economy.