UPDATE: After hearing the woeful tale of the Girl Scouts swindled out of a $24,000 sale, locals in Portland showed up over the weekend to buy up 3,000 boxes of the 6,000 that had been set aside for the hoax order. [More]
Did you miss the original band of friendly, slackerish white dudes who pretended to play ditties about the dangers of poor credit FreeCreditReport.com ads? Yeah, neither did anyone else. But even though they held a nationwide contest to find their current house band two years ago, the magic just wasn’t there. Maybe the new guys weren’t irritating enough. So the old crew is back together to annoy us. [More]
Have you bought coconut water, pinot noir, a Samsung TV, or an iPhone 4? If you purchased any of these products, plus a whole bunch more, you may be eligible to file a claim in one of these recently settled class action lawsuits. Proof of purchase isn’t always required, but lying is bad consumer karma. [More]
Everyone with debt would like to eliminate it, but it’s not always clear where or how to get started. There are many types of debt, and each is suited to a different payoff strategy. [More]
With more tornadoes on the way tonight after last weekend’s deadly twisters that killed 45 and left hundreds of homes damaged and destroyed, it’s important to have your ducks in a row to get your tornado insurance claim check issued quickly should disaster strike. After you shake off the daze and dust from the destruction, what do you do to get your cash fast and get on the road to repair and recovery? [More]
Michael wanted to pay a copy of his Transunion credit report. In theory, this shouldn’t be a problem: he gives Transunion money, they give him a credit report. If only it worked that way. It turns out that just buying a single copy of your report from Transunion is like trying to buy a mobile phone in America from a retail store: you can get it for “free” with a subscription to monitoring service, or as part of a package deal with other services, but you can’t just hand over cash for a credit report. [More]
How would you like a free credit score with not very much baloney? The Sears Card from Citibank gives you just that, with no annual fees. [More]
Credit Karma recently launched the free Credit Report Card service that assigns letter grades to each component of your credit score. If you want to improve your credit score, try to bring up your performance in areas where you have low or failing grades. Not every component has the same bearing on your score, so underneath each section Credit Karma tells you how much weight it has. For those who look at their reports and scratch their head, the Credit Karma report card, which is drawn from your TransUnion report, makes understanding why your credit score is the way it is a snap. Full screen shot inside.
Did you try Bankrate’s score estimator when it was featured on the Consumerist two years ago? I did and I wondered how accurate that 12-question quiz was. Answer? Not bad.
We spent yesterday at Finovate, a yearly roundup of new personal finance services available online. Here’s a recap of some of the afternoon presentations, including a mortgage comparison service that promises greater transparency, a new credit simulator feature from Credit Karma, and a site that uses reverse auctions to get banks to bid on your money.
Just saw a (horribly produced) ad last night for freetriplescore.com, the latest in a long string piece of crap “free” credit score sites. As Chris Walters noted when he wrote about it, for the most part it’s a ripoff. But maybe there’s a way to pull a fast one of you own and get a free credit score…
The CreditKarma.com site we told you about in our roundup of “5 No BS Ways To Get A Credit Score For Free” has changed its calibration system so the free, advertising-supported, credit score it gives you is now on the 300-850 range, just like your FICO score. It’s still not your FICO score, but it does make the approximation, based on TransUnion data, more relevant. If you’re do some major money moves, like getting a mortgage, you would still want to pay for the FICO score for total accuracy, but if you just want a general sense of how you’re doing, CreditKarma.com is a great way to do it for free.
Reader Hayden had to email the CEO of Sirius radio just to get them to ship him some replacement adhesive backing for his car radio. Every homebrewed solution he tried couldn’t get his Sirius radio to stick to his dashboard. When he called Sirius, he got bounced around between disconnections, robots, people who couldn’t speak English, a guy who insisted Sirius didn’t have stock any replacement tape. So Hayden kicked it straight to the man at the top with a nice cogent complaint letter, cc’d to us, various Sirius execs, the BBB, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, and some popular gadget blogs. Apparently that’s what it takes to get some replacement tape. His complaint letter, inside…
Chase is giving college students free rides in special marketing rickshaws. Reader Ben reports seeing some, which look like the one pictured, on the campus of his North Carolina State University. Apparently the whole ride around the driver tries to sell you on the “Plus 1″ credit card with its super-dope 23% APR. There’s also pitches for Bee Movie. The card gives you “karma points” which you can cash in for crap, share with friends or donate to “causes.” College kids go love to feel socially aware and responsible, and if it can be accomplished without leaving the dorm, all the better. Chase is also marketing the card on Facebook, the social networking site for people who go to college. The Plus 1 card earned a lemon award from creditcards.org.
A salesman working at a popular video game store shares nine insider tips for customers: