Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

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 >

How to solve your post-holiday consumer problems

The holidays are over. Hope you had a grand time! I know I did, but I also know a few people who are experiencing a bit of post-holiday frustration with products and services they bought. But never fear, the FTC is here with some tried and true tips to help resolve your problems. The fact is, most businesses want to keep you happy so you'll keep coming back. Continue Reading >

Top blog posts of 2014

It’s that time of year when everyone’s compiling their Best of 2014 list. We didn’t want to miss the fun so here’s our own list of the 10 Most Read Consumer Blog Posts of 2014.

10. Is that debt collector for real? told you about a company the courts shuttered for duping consumers into paying $3.5 million in debts they didn’t owe. Continue Reading >

Funding your holiday fun

It’s holiday season; time to visit family and friends, buy gifts and celebrate. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sales and shopping, but if money is tight right now, you may wonder if you can afford all that holiday cheer. Before you start ringing up holiday expenses, make a budget and get a fix on your income, expenses and what you have to spend. Keep your budget — and long-term finances — in mind as you decide how to cover holiday expenses. Continue Reading >

Giving and getting gift cards this holiday season

Mark Twain once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” If you live by this mantra, you might find yourself scrambling at the last minute to finish your holiday shopping this season. Enter the gift card. Continue Reading >