Unfair treatment by credit card companies down, survey suggests

Fewer Americans report being treated unfairly by credit card companies, according to a new nationwide poll.

The survey, conducted by Consumer Reports, indicates that when respondents were asked how they were treated by their credit card company, just 12 percent said they had been given treatment that was undeserved, down from 15 percent when compared to the same period in 2010 and 22 percent in 2009.

Some suggest that the improved treatment consumers appear to be receiving has resulted from federal rules passed by Congress that ban abusive practices some credit card companies had been using.

The survey also found that consumers are carrying less debt, as median balances have diminished to $3,414 from $3,793 in 2010.

"Things are looking rosier for credit-card holders," said Noreen Perrotta, finance editor at Consumer Reports. "Consumers are paying down balances and facing fewer punitive actions by credit-card companies such as higher rates, late-payment fees, and canceled cards."

Consumers should still check their credit card histories on occasion, as creditors may make clerical errors that unfairly lower their FICO scores.