With student loan debt in the U.S. now well beyond $1 trillion, everyone seems eager to get into the debt-reduction business. Some cities will pay down your debt if you move there, while a growing number of employers are making loan payment contributions part of the benefits package. Now some financial institutions are dangling the debt-reduction carrot in front of potential customers — but should you bite? [More]
Some homeowners who were wrongly denied mortgage assistance from Wells Fargo will soon receive the help they needed years ago after a federal judge ruled this week that the bank’s denial of modifications were in breach of a 2010 settlement involving adjustable-payment mortgages. [More]
Yesterday, the New York Times wrote about a judge in Arizona who forced Wells Fargo to explain why it keeps stalling and being uncooperative with a customer who has been trying to get a loan modification request approved. Sadly, in the past week we’ve gotten two separate emails from homeowners who are also having trouble with getting banks to approve their requests for the government-sponsored loan modifications. “Who can we contact to complain?” asks one frustrated customer.
College career offices aren’t just for students and recent alumni. They’re also for mid-career professionals who want help with resume touchups, interview preparation, and meeting other alums. Best of all, the assistance is entirely free!
Here’s a free handbook that’s full of the sort of stuff we spend all of our time discussing on Consumerist. Sections include how to be a savvy consumer, how to file complaints, and a directory of organizations and agencies to contact when you have a problem. You can view the contents online or download a PDF copy, and you can also request a print version for your doesn’t-go-online relative (although you’ll have to wait for a reprinting).
If your bank isn’t willing to renegotiate your mortgage, see if your Member of Congress can’t give them a little push. Maxine Waters (D-CA) rings up the C.E.O.s of Bank of America and Wells Fargo on her constituents’ behalf, while Elijah Cummings (D-MD) hired a staffer who’s helping more than 120 constituents avoid foreclosure.
Starting tomorrow, Virgin Mobile will offer all customers who sign up for $30 or more post-paid plans coverage under their free Pink Slip program, which means if you get laid off and can provide proof, they’ll pay your cellphone bill for three months, and you won’t have to put a Skype number on your resume.
Next Saturday, 250 IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers staffed with IRS agents will open their doors to anyone making $42,000 or less. With money tight for everyone this year, if you qualify, take the government up on its generous offer and let the IRS agents fill out your tax forms.
The Obama Administration announced new details about its massive foreclosure relief program — and the Washington Post says that it includes a refinancing program for homeowners with little equity in their homes, but who otherwise would be able to refinance. The Post has a quick interactive tool that will help you to determine whether or not you qualify for the program.
If you’re entering the work force for the first time (although this probably pertains to lots of older employees too), all the details of insurance, taxes, and 401(k)s can be daunting/boring/confusing. Ron Lieber at the New York Times has pared away the extraneous bits and created a “primer for young people starting their first job,” including helpful advice like why it’s important to get health insurance, how to fill out your W-4, and why it’s good to take advantage of the built-in “raise” that comes from a company-matching 401(k). Sure, this is all basic stuff, but that’s the point. Ya gotta start somewhere.
Unlike Drew’s story about IKEA from earlier today, Philip had what sounds like insanely good customer service from Costco—which is a good thing, since both the original table he purchased and the replacement table Costco’s delivery guys brought were missing key pieces.
Air Canada has heard you loud and clear, and they’re going to start making sure they have decent customer service reps on-hand to help you the next time your flight is canceled, delayed, or re-routed. And you’ll have to pay for it: “$25 one-way on short-haul flights and an extra $35 one-way on long-haul routes within North America.”
Beginning today, if you’re in the Westminster area of London and text the word “toilet” to 80097, you’ll be sent the location of the nearest bathroom. The service costs 25 pence ($0.52) per request.
You may already know about WIC—”Women, Infants, and Children,” the government program that provides nutritional assistance to “low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women,” and to their children up to age five. But a lot of people don’t know that if you receive WIC or if you’re a low-income senior, you may also qualify for their farmers market program, which means you can take advantage of the same fresh-from-the-farm bounty as those coke-snorting yuppies who’ll buy anything with the word “heirloom” stamped across it.