Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

No debt relief for mortgages and student loans

If you feel in over your head with debt, a company’s promise to lower your mortgage or student loan payment might seem like a lifeline. Unfortunately, dishonest companies promising debt relief can make a bad situation worse. Continue Reading >

A year in debt collection

Making a plan is one thing. Sticking to it: quite another. During 2015, the FTC made a plan to address some new and troubling issues in debt collection. Throughout the course of the year, we stuck to that plan – bringing a record number of new cases, banning bad debt collectors, talking with industry, and finding new ways to do outreach. Continue Reading >

Oh no, it's that time again!

We get it. You’ve got holiday hangover. Bills are trickling in for the gifts you bought last year. You’re already having trouble keeping the resolutions you just made. And you can’t bring yourself to take down the holiday decorations. To top it off, tax forms are beginning to fill your inbox. Is it tax season already?! Continue Reading >

Paying down holiday debt?

The season of giving is over — well, sort of. For many people, December’s gift-giving and feasting means a bigger-than-usual credit card bill in January. You know the advice: it’s always good to pay off your balance in full. But if you can’t, we’ve got some tips for paying down credit card debt: Continue Reading >

Manuel avoids car-buying trouble [fotonovela]

Manuel and his wife just found the perfect minivan!  They can’t wait to take it home and surprise the kids. But first, there’s the issue of how to pay for it. The dealer financing seems like a good deal, so they go for it. A few days later, the dealer calls to tell Manuel the financing deal fell through. He says Manuel has to accept a new, more expensive deal or he’ll lose the minivan. What will Manuel do? Continue Reading >

Fraud affects every community: debt collection

There’s not much doubt that fraud can happen anywhere. To anyone. That’s the whole idea behind the FTC’s Every Community Initiative: fraud affects every community, and the FTC works to stop fraud wherever it happens. When we look at all the reports we get from consumers in communities across the country, these scams start to feel like something we face together, something we can imagine happening to us, or someone we care about. And when we share those stories, it really hits home. Continue Reading >

Four dishonest debt collectors down…

Even though it’s a new year, some things remain the same. Illegal debt collection is still a big problem – which means it’s a big deal here at the FTC. We’ve made some progress: you might remember the 115 cases we announced in November, working with more than 70 law enforcement partners. That was big, but we’re not done yet. Continue Reading >

NCPW 2016 is March 6-12 — but consumer savvy is an everyday thing

What’s going on with you?

Concerned about data breaches and identity theft? Living on your own for the first time and thinking about budgeting, credit, renting an apartment or buying a car? Were you the victim of a scam? Misled by false advertising claims? Or do you just want to get smarter about products and services you’re considering? Continue Reading >

Don’t recognize that debt? Here’s what to do.

Debt collectors make up to one billion contacts with consumers each year. It’s their job to make sure they’re collecting from the right people. But sometimes, they reach the wrong person. Other times, they’re actually part of a fake debt collection scam. 

If you don’t recognize a debt, here’s what you can do:

Find out who you’re dealing with. Ask for the collector’s name, the company’s name, and its address and phone number. Legitimate collectors will provide this information. Continue Reading >

Tips for Cyber Monday success

Each year, Cyber Monday promises unbelievable savings – but before you start snagging deals, here are some tips to help you save money and protect your personal information:

Know the seller and the item. Put the company or product name in a search engine, along with “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” Read the reviews. Be sure you can contact the seller if you have a dispute. Continue Reading >

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