Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

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 >

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 >