Welcome to Consumers’ Notebook, where we feature news-you-can-use and other timely information to help you become a more informed consumer. Check back often to read the latest pieces in our Notebook.
New debt collection regulations took effect at the end of November. The new rules focus on communications and disclosures from debt collectors, including what a collector can say, how often they can contact the consumer, what information must be provided, and what qualifies as harassment.
In a major victory for travelers, last week Marriott International settled a consumer protection lawsuit brought by the Pennsylvania attorney general and agreed to begin disclosing upfront any mandatory fees, including resort fees.
For the 2021 holiday shopping season, brace yourself for shortages, shipping delays, changes to retailers’ traditional discounting practices, and more. But there are still plenty of ways to save money and make sure you cover everyone on your “nice” list. Here are our top tips for holiday shopping.
While having a store’s card may make sense for you, applying for credit can impact your credit score and overall finances, so it should never be done without careful consideration. You need to understand the terms, fees, and interest rate. Most retail credit cards have higher interest rates than traditional credit cards.
Inflation, supply chain disruptions, and the pandemic are shaping this year’s Black Friday promotions, limiting the number of products retailers can advertise and the size of discounts they can offer.
BNPL services market themselves as the consumer-friendly alternative to credit cards, but they don't offer the strong consumer protections you get from credit cards, and there is growing concern that many rely on profits from late fees from struggling consumers.
Job scams increased dramatically during the pandemic––and they’re expected to flourish as America gets back to work. Last year, more than 16,000 people reported being victims of employment scams to the FBI.
FAFSA is the gateway to your share of the nearly $150 billion in federal aid available from the U.S. Department of Education, plus assistance from state governments and most colleges and universities.
We're again being told to “get going now” on our holiday shopping this year. Wait too long, retailers warn, and you might not find everything on your gift-giving list.
At the end of their lease, many people turn in that old vehicle and lease another one. They like driving something new––and it doesn’t make economic sense to buy that old ride. The pandemic has changed that economic equation, at least for now.
As of September 18, Fannie Mae will consider rental payment history as part of its risk assessment for loan approval.
The rapid acceptance of QR codes during the pandemic has been good for restaurants and retailers, but it’s also provided cyber criminals with a powerful new tool.
The government-mandated pause on federal student loan repayments, interest, and collections—set to expire at the end of September—has been extended until Jan. 31, 2022. The Department of Education made it clear this is the “final pause.”...
Amazon Sidewalk, the retail giant’s new shared wireless network, is now up and running across the United States. If you have an Echo smart speaker or Ring security device, you may be powering Amazon’s “mesh network” without realizing it.
Data breaches are up 58 percent in the first half of the year and are on a record-setting pace, according to a new report from the Identity Theft Resource Center. While that’s a staggering figure, you can still protect yourself by adopting some basic security habits.
When you buy a product and it breaks, your ability to repair it is often limited or prevented by the manufacturer or seller. The Federal Trade Commission announced it's going to fix this broken system by cracking down on illegal repair restrictions.
The FTC is trying to return $125 million to victims who wired money to con artists between 2013 and 2017 using MoneyGram. That money is part of a 2018 settlement with the FTC and Department of Justice.
“Made in USA” claims are often meaningless and sometimes outright deceptive. This month the Federal Trade Commission finalized a new rule to crack down on marketers using false labeling about where their products were made.
You may be in for an unpleasant surprise when you go car shopping these days. Due to a shortage for many popular makes and models, it could be more difficult to find the vehicle you want at a price you can afford.
Here’s some good news for families who will qualify for the Child Tax Credit on their 2021 federal tax return: The credit is bigger, and the money is being sent out now.