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.
Starting on December 1, a new 0.5 percent “adverse market fee” will be added to many mortgage refinance loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
If you do the grocery shopping in your family, you’ve probably noticed that the grocery bills keep going up. Blame the pandemic for pushing up the prices of many staples. Here are some simple tips to help lower your food bills.
By law, the IRS owes interest on refunds that accrued between the original April 15th filing deadline and whenever the refund was actually paid.
The Census Bureau is emailing more than 20 million households to encourage participation. Top digital security experts interviewed by Checkbook agreed that this is a bad idea that creates an opportunity for cyber-criminals.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be a debt collector, it’s not always easy to tell if the caller is a real debt collector or a scammer. That’s why it’s important to go slowly and know your rights.
The number of people saddled with excessive debt is growing. Help is available in the form of debt management, debt settlement, consolidation loans, and bankruptcy attorneys. Some are good choices; others could make your financial situation worse.
Contact tracing is one of the critical tools state and local health departments are using to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, it’s also given criminals a new way to scam people.
Stimulus payments, expanded unemployment benefits, government loans, and payment accommodations from lenders have helped keep many families and businesses afloat so far. But as these programs end, millions will find their budgets stretched to the breaking point.
Fraudsters have created fake customer service numbers for many well-known companies and wait for you to slip up and call them. This scam is deviously simple, which is why it’s often difficult to spot.
During a move, you’re trusting a company to get your possessions from here to there on time, without damage, and at the agreed upon price. All too often that doesn’t happen, especially for long-distance interstate relocations.
At a time when American consumers need more protection than ever from predatory loans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a final rule on payday loans that rolls back important protections.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says a good sunscreen, used properly, can dramatically lower your risk of skin cancer––reducing the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
Many Consumers Enrolled in COVID-19 Payment Modification Programs Find Their Credit Files Erroneously Tarnished
Many lenders let their customers make reduced payments or skip payments altogether, without damaging their credit histories. But, in many cases, companies haven’t held up their end of the deal.
Phishing is one of the most popular techniques used by cyber criminals because it’s simple and effective. The typical phishing attack involves creating an email that appears to be from a reputable company or organization and encourages potential victims to click on a link.
People are buying cars again. To regain lost business, car manufacturers and dealers are promoting steep discounts and special financing.
Ready to pounce on a deal on new wheels? Don’t let hype about current deals bait you into spending too much. Our strategy of collecting competitive bids will save you $1,000 or more compared to other buying approaches.
As stores across the country reopen, customers will soon be able to return some unwanted merchandise they’ve been stuck with during the coronavirus shutdown. Some retailers have already made changes to accommodate the inconvenience.
Con artists are putting a new twist on the old gift-card scam by sending out email and text messages that look as if they originated from someone at your church, synagogue, or mosque asking you to buy some gift cards to give to needy congregants or others in the community.
Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of a check, in a plain envelope. Many recipients are throwing theirs away (assuming It's junk mail) or destroying them (afraid it's a scam).
Every wireless company claims to be the best, but consumer surveys tell a different story—some carriers are clearly doing a better job of delivering network quality, customer service, and value.