• It's critical to level the playing field, to make prices and risks clear up front, so when someone signs on for a student loan or a mortgage or a credit card, they know the tricks and traps hidden in the fine print. That's why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been working on a new financial aid shopping sheet. A shorter, two-page credit card agreement, a simpler mortgage disclosure form. All those are aimed toward helping people understand the basic bargain.

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