Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

Free phones for veterans? Not quite.

You walk out of a VA facility, and see a booth with people offering free phones and cell service for veterans, all thanks to a government program. It sounds compelling, right? Continue Reading >

Take notice: How your credit history can affect your monthly bill

When you apply for things like cable or satellite TV, mobile phone service, or internet service, the company might review your credit report. They can use the information in your credit report to give you less favorable terms, meaning they can charge you more for the service than someone with a better credit history. That’s called risk-based pricing. The law says it’s OK as long as the company lets you know about it by sending you a Risk-Based Pricing Notice. Continue Reading >

Scam du jour: Chip card scams

Recently, I told you about the new credit and debt chip cards designed to reduce fraud, including counterfeiting.

Now, I'm reporting on scammers who are trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven't yet received a chip card. Continue Reading >

What to know about the new credit and debit chip cards

Coming to a wallet near you: new credit and debit chip cards. They’re part of a nationwide shift by major card issuers to offer added security against fraud. The new cards look like your old cards with one exception: they have a small square metallic chip on the front. The chip holds your payment data — some of which is currently held on the magnetic stripe on your old cards — and provides a unique code for each purchase. The metallic chip is designed to reduce fraud, including counterfeiting. Continue Reading >

FTC celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the heritage and culture of Hispanic communities across the country, and recognize their many contributions to American life. At the FTC, we join the celebration as we work to combat deception and fraud in marketplaces targeting Hispanic communities. Continue Reading >

Tick-tock goes the clock on old debts

Here’s a fun way to think about a tricky topic. You know the scene in Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland when the white rabbit hops off saying “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”? Imagine the rabbit is a debt collector. The important date? It’s his last chance to legally make you pay money you owe. Why he’s late? The debt collector has run out of time to sue you for an old and unpaid, or time-barred, debt. For more, follow me down the rabbit hole... Continue Reading >

What’s the deal with “Rachel from Card Services”? Your top 3 questions answered.

“Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account. It appears that you are now eligible for a significantly lower interest rate on your account. However, this offer is about to expire, so please press 1 now to be transferred to a live representative who can assist you in securing your lower interest rate.” Continue Reading >

Back-to-school shopping tips from the FTC

From crayons to clothing and computers, it’s back-to-school shopping time! Before you head to the mall or go online, the FTC has some tips to help you get the most for your money.

Get the teacher-approved list. Many teachers have lists of items they want their students to have.

Involve your kids. Use school shopping as a way to teach your children about money, budgeting and organizing. Continue Reading >

How to dispute credit report information that can’t be confirmed

Would you know what to do if a debt collector reported a debt to a credit reporting agency and then went out of business, leaving no one to confirm or legally collect the debt? Continue Reading >

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 >

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