WHAT IS THE 'Consumer Advisory Council or CAC'

The Consumer Advisory Council, or CAC, is a legislative body established by the United States Congress in 1976.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumer Advisory Council or CAC'

The Consumer Advisory Council consists of 30 members who collectively advise the Federal Reserve Board. The the CAC works with the Federal Reserve Board on issues involving consumer financial services such as the availability of credit and other consumer-focused financial issues. The members of the CAC serve three-year terms that are then spread out over time. The Council meets three times a year in Washington, D.C., and meetings are open to the public.

The CAC's main responsibility relates to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and it counsels the Federal Reserve Board on all related issues. The Consumer Protection act is a piece of federal legislation voted into law in 1968. The act created disclosure requirements for consumer lenders such as banks, credit card companies and auto-leasing firms. Consumer lenders must inform consumers about annual percentage rates, special or previously hidden loan terms and the total potential costs to the borrower. The main goal of the Consumer Credit Protection Act is to protect consumers in various financial matters such as prohibiting discrimination in credit transactions, requiring credit card companies to promptly post payments and correct billing errors, and requiring lenders to inform borrowers of the terms and cost of credit in detail. One of the most significant provisions of the act is Title III. Title III restricts garnishable earnings to 25% of disposable weekly income, which ended the practice of creditors taking a high percentage of wages to pay an outstanding debt.

How the U.S. Government Protects the Consumer

Many consider the Consumer Credit Protection Act the basis for all following consumer protection laws. Following the enactment of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the government passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Truth in Lending Act among other consumer protections.

Congress passed the Truth in Lending act or TILA in 1968, the same year as the Consumer Credit Protection act. TILA protects consumers in their dealings with lenders and creditors. TILA made it compulsory that lenders disclose the annual percentage rate, the term of the loan and the total cost to the borrower prior to extending credit. The act requires this information be conspicuous on documents presented to the consumer.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA is another act that protects consumers. Passed into law in 1970, the act regulates the collection of credit information and access to credit reports. The act ensures fairness, accuracy and privacy of the personal information contained in the files of the credit reporting agencies. To this day the FCRA is the the primary legislation that governs the reporting of credit information for consumers.


  1. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the act that regulates ...
  2. Credit Report

    A credit report is a detailed report of an individual's credit ...
  3. Consumer Interest

    Consumer interest is any interest charge on personal loans, including ...
  4. Consumer Credit File

    A consumer credit file contains data about a consumer’s past ...
  5. Regulation V

    The introduction of Regulation V set new federal standards on ...
  6. Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility ...

    The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Get To Know Your Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    The CFPB is there to protect you and hear your voice. You can help with the economic recovery by getting to know the bureau.
  2. Personal Finance

    Time to Accept Credit Card Offers Again?

    How much you could get and whether to respond
  3. Personal Finance

    Take the Right Steps to Build Excellent Credit

    There are several things you can do to protect and improve your credit score.
  4. Investing

    Investing in Credit Card Companies

    Find out why investing in credit card companies requires keeping an eye on consumer indexes and the overall health of the economy.
  5. Personal Finance

    Best Credit Cards For People With Poor Credit Scores

    There are still ways you can build credit with a credit card, even if you have bad credit.
  6. Personal Finance

    The top 3 credit bureaus

    Learn about the top three credit bureaus: what they do, how they develop your credit score – and why the credit scores they assign you may differ.
  7. Personal Finance

    Which Is More Important: Credit Report or Credit Score?

    Here's the difference between a credit report and credit score, and which is more important.
  8. Personal Finance

    How Your Credit Score Compares to the Average American's

    While only a small percentage of Americans have terrible credit scores, a whopping 30% have poor or bad credit, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  9. Personal Finance

    The Importance Of Your Credit Rating

    A great starting point for learning what a credit score is, how it is calculated and why it is so important.
Trading Center