Watch Out for the New Fees

Personal Finance

Watch Out for the New Fees

Watch Out for the New Fees

Another new year is underway, and once again consumers need to be on the lookout for new fees. Some of the fees are hard to miss, but a few of them are more subtle. Here are several of the more obvious fees to monitor: The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill has limited the amount banks can… Read More

SmartyPig Cuts Rates from Amazing to Pretty Good

Personal Finance

SmartyPig Cuts Rates from Amazing to Pretty Good

SmartyPig Cuts Rates from Amazing to Pretty Good

SmartyPig made two announcements last week, one loudly, the other softly. The soft one was arguably more important: the online saving website said it will cut the interest rate it pays on savings accounts for the second time in four months, this time from 1.75% to 1.35%. The announcement was initially made only to members… Read More

A Payday Lender Spoof that Defies Laws of the Internet

Identity Theft

A Payday Lender Spoof that Defies Laws of the Internet

A Payday Lender Spoof that Defies Laws of the Internet

If you’re trying to find the trade group for payday lenders and Google “payday lenders association,” one of the first sites that pops up may catch you by surprise. It’s called the Predatory Lending Association (PLA), and the site is so well done it may take you a minute to realize that it’s a joke…. Read More

Report: Credit Card Marketing Continues on Campus

Credit Cards

Report: Credit Card Marketing Continues on Campus

Report: Credit Card Marketing Continues on Campus

Despite the CARD Act, which explicitly prohibits banks from marketing and issuing credit cards to young adults under the age of 21 without a cosigner or proof of sufficient income to repay the debt, banks are not complying. At least, that’s what new research from the University of Houston suggests. Professor Jim Hawkins surveyed 338… Read More

Mortgage Assistance Program Launched for Unemployed Californians

Mortgages

Mortgage Assistance Program Launched for Unemployed Californians

Mortgage Assistance Program Launched for Unemployed Californians

The California Housing Finance Agency is sponsoring a federally funded program designed to keep unemployed homeowners from facing the threat of foreclosure, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. The CHFA has also enlisted the help of four of the largest mortgage lenders in the nation, Bank of America, Chase, GMAC and Wells… Read More

Better Business Bureau Lists Top Ten Scams

Personal Finance

Better Business Bureau Lists Top Ten Scams

Better Business Bureau Lists Top Ten Scams

It’s no secret. If you don’t protect yourself from potential fraudsters, you’re asking for trouble. Identity thieves are coming up with new, crafty ways to separate you from your identity – and your money. To highlight some of the most popular scams consumer scam artists are turning to these days, the Better Business Bureau has… Read More

Consumer Credit Increased in November

Managing Debt

Consumer Credit Increased in November

Consumer Credit Increased in November

Consumer credit rose $1.3 billion in November, up 0.7 percent from October, as a result of more people seeking nonrevolving credit, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Federal Reserve Board. The amount of revolving credit – which is typically associated with credit card debt – fell 6.3 percent to $796.5 billion, while nonrevolving… Read More

How to Pick a Bank in 2011

Personal Finance

How to Pick a Bank in 2011

How to Pick a Bank in 2011

At present, I have four savings accounts at three different banks.  At times I do feel a bit overbanked, but each institution – from my online bank to my credit union to my big box bank – has its benefits. As you search for the perfect bank or banks this year here is a checklist… Read More

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