Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

Life happens…

What’s going on in your life today? Preparing to graduate? Have a changing family dynamic? Returning from military service? Or just moving into this country? Big life changes seem to come frequently, and they don’t just impact your daily routine — they can affect your finances, too. Here are some ideas to help you land on your feet when you face a change. Because who has time to panic? Continue Reading >

Adiós fake debt collectors

“No hay mal, que por bien no venga,” as we say in Spanish. There’s nothing bad through which good doesn’t come. Continue Reading >

Feds call out national mortgage servicer

The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau don’t play games when it comes to making loan servicers pay for illegal and unscrupulous behavior. Case in point: Green Tree Servicing LLC. Continue Reading >

Spring into action with Financial Literacy Month

Spring has finally sprung. And whether you’re shopping for a new lawn mower, a bike, or a gift for a new graduate, a little research can save you a lot of money. Even when you know what you want, it can be overwhelming to choose among dozens of products, brands, retailers and websites.

April is financial literacy month. To help you make smart buying decisions and save more of what you earn, here are a few tips from the FTC.

Step one: Think before you shop. Continue Reading >

Scammers play name game and get caught

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it’s illegal. Just ask the people behind First Time Credit Solutions, who promoted their business as “FTC Credit Solutions” until the real Federal Trade Commission shut them down. The group claimed their credit repair firm was licensed by the FTC, and allegedly took thousands of dollars from people after promising to delete negative, but accurate, information from their credit reports. Continue Reading >

Operation Ruse Control

Shopping for a car can be fun and exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers also can be stressful. Some advertise unusually low prices, low or no up-front payments, low- or no-interest loans, or low monthly payments. But the FTC says to use caution: Not all dealers play by the rules. Continue Reading >

Rent-to-Own: Consider your alternatives

Need a sofa, washer/dryer, TV, or new tires? Don’t have the cash or credit to buy them outright? You may be considering rent-to-own: simply make weekly or monthly payments for a while and you own the goods. Continue Reading >

What do they have on you?

You know that credit reports reveal your borrowing and payment history, but are you aware there are dozens of other “specialty” consumer reports that track everything from your rental history to your prescription purchases? These reports can affect your ability to write a check, obtain insurance coverage, a job, a cellphone or even a place to live.  Continue Reading >

What’s the true cost of a car title loan?

Have you seen a sign offering a car title loan — also known as a pink-slip loan, title pledge or title pawn? These loans use your paid-off car as collateral, and you get a small, short-term loan with a high interest rate. You usually have to repay the loan in 15 or 30 days, and the annual percentage rate (APR) is often more than 100%. Continue Reading >

Get ready for National Consumer Protection Week!

It’s about that time again. Are you ready?

Every year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs. Continue Reading >

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