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Large banks charge higher credit card interest rates and fees than small banks and credit unions, survey finds

Compare interest rates and terms when you’re going to sign up for a new credit card. There’s no need to pay 28 to 30 percent interest or an annual fee of $150. Large banks are offering worse credit card terms and interest rates than small banks and credit unions, regardless of credit risk, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Read more →

Do you have a will?

I know, I know. As a consumer and personal finance journalist, I should have had my will prepared a long time ago. I’ve had a handwritten will for years that was witnessed by two friends. It’s not sufficient, but it was something. People need to have a will because if they don’t, their assets, if any, will be distributed according to state law. Read more →

Ask for a supervisor when the customer service representative is terrible

Recently, when I looked at my Comcast bill, it said my monthly bill would be going up $22.60 a month. I was upset. My bill already is high. I pay about $200 for TV, internet, and landline. For years, I had argue with Comcast every couple of years when my contract expired. I had the bundle: $33 for TV, $33 for internet, and $33 for the landline. Read more →

With yet another lawsuit for misconduct, consider dumping your big bank

Citibank was charged Tuesday for failing to protect customers from fraud and for refusing to reimburse them. A lawsuit by the New York Attorney General’s Office alleges that Citi doesn’t have online protections to stop account takeovers, misleads customers about their rights after their funds are stolen, and illegally denies reimbursement to victims of fraud. Read more →

You have the right to get funeral information over the phone

It’s a topic I’ve written about many times. Get familiar with funeral costs before you expect you may need to arrange a funeral. Funeral directors can take advantage of consumers who aren’t informed. And it can cost you a lot of money. A first-time, undercover investigation by the FTC showed that some funeral homes didn’t give accurate price information over the phone. Read more →

Watch out for ‘free’ offers that aren’t free, such as the TurboTax services most consumers weren’t able to use

Be sure to check out any free offer to make sure it actually don’t cost anything. In an order issued Monday, the Federal Trade Commission said Intuit, maker of TurboTax, the popular tax filing software, engaged in deceptive advertising when it ran ads for “free” tax products and services that many consumers were ineligible for. Read more →

Biden administration proposes changes to reduce overdraft fees at big banks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday proposed a rule to rein in excessive overdraft fees charged by the nation’s biggest financial institutions. It would close an outdated loophole that exempts overdraft lending services from provisions of the 1968 Truth in Lending Act. About 23 million households pay overdraft fees each year. Read more →

Steps for how to begin growing savings

Do you have accumulated debt, maybe from student loans, credit cards, car loans, or overspending? Are you savings money for the future? Although a lot of people struggle with saving, it’s possible to gradually building small savings into large sums. Here are some ways to help you begin to save or build up your savings, offered by the FDIC. Read more →

Student loan borrowers facing challenges as payments start again

After a pause for more than three years due to the covid-19 emergency, student loan borrowers are resuming payments. However, they’re things aren’t going smoothly. They're experiencing long hold times, significant delays in application processing times for income-driven repayment plans, and inaccurate billing statements and disclosures, Read more →

Top consumer and personal finance stories of 2023

It’s that time of year again. It’s unbelievable that 2023 has rolled by so fast. That means that the 2024 election is getting even closer and closer, an election with so many consequences for consumers and their financial lives. As usual, I’m one of the few reporters writing about the top consumer and personal finance stories of the year, research that I enjoy. Read more →