New agency tries to answer consumers’ common questions

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a new portion of its Web site on Thursday aimed at answering consumers’ most common questions.

The initiative, dubbed Ask CFPB, includes plain-spoken answers to more than 350 inquiries focused on credit cards and mortgages. The agency began accepting complaints on checking accounts, private student loans and auto loans this month, and staff members said they will add information about those products soon.

“We believe that an informed consumer is the first line of defense against unfair practices,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said.

The agency said it plans to publicize the site through community organizations and seeks feedback on its utility.

Ylan Q. Mui is a financial reporter at The Washington Post covering the Federal Reserve and the economy.

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