Each year during tax time millions of consumers put their financial future in the hands of strangers, trusting that these tax preparers — who are largely unregulated — know the rules, will get them the best possible result (hopefully a refund), and won’t sell them on a product that costs more than it’s worth. But in the world of complicated tax codes and credits, consumers continue to face a long list of risks, including untrained preparers, undisclosed fees, and dangerous refund anticipation products. [More]
Have you ever wondered if people on the other side of the country run into the same difficulties dealing with financial institutions as you do? Well, wonder no more, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced today that it will provide a peek into the overall state of consumer complaints in the U.S. and how individuals in certain areas deal with companies providing financial products and services through a new monthly series. First up: Milwaukee, WI, and debt collection. [More]
CFPB Releases Educational Guides To Help Non-English Speakers Avoid Scams, Understand Financial Issues
Understanding the world of finance can be difficult for just about anyone in this country, but especially so when the rules of the industry are written in a language that you might not be proficient in. For these consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a new set of guides aimed at helping them avoid financial devastation. [More]
Nearly a year after the New York Department of Financial Services took steps to regulate businesses that operate in virtual currency, the Department announced the finalization of the “BitLicense” plan, making it the first set of guidelines for the use of cybercurrency. [More]
The first step in living a fiscally responsible life is to understand what financial products are available and how they fit into your goals. Or at least that’s the idea behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently launched Financial Coaching Initiative that aims to assist certain groups of consumers become financially independent and knowledgeable. [More]
Thousands of California students planning to use veterans benefits to enroll at ITT Technical Institute campuses will need to find other means of financing their education after the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs suspended ITT Educational Services’ eligibility for GI Bill funding. [More]
While it’s never too late to become financially literate, it certainly helps if you start early. That’s why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching a national effort to improve financial education in schools.
Any hope founder of American Apparel Dov Charney had of returning to the company may have gone out the window this week, after it was revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an inquiry into the circumstances leading to his departure. [More]
By now we know that celebrities (and pseudo-celebrities) often lend their names to products that may or may not have devastating effects on consumers. Of course, hawking a product for a paycheck doesn’t automatically make the spokesperson in question an expert on the product or the consequences of using it. [More]
Americans’ positive feelings about the economy have officially returned to the level they were at on the eve of the Great Recession, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts. While that might sound comforting, it doesn’t mean consumers are actually feeling secure in their own financial stability.
Dealing with finances is one of the least fun aspects of being an adult. Dealing with finances when you’re in a committed relationship is even less enjoyable. Of course you love your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé, or whatever, but you don’t have to love the way they handle money. Seamlessly transitioning to a ‘we’ financial situation doesn’t have to be full of mistakes or a completely painful situation.
Ever heard of price-fixing chocolate? How about fish or rubber shoes? Those are just a few of the price-fixing schemes found by competition authorities in a record-breaking year of anti-trust abuse. [More]
If you’ve decided 2012 will be the year you get your finances in order, you’ll need to take concrete steps toward making that goal a reality. It takes sound, consistent choices to chug along in the right direction.
While anyone with $1 million in the bank is technically a millionaire, it apparently takes a lot more money than that for the merely rich to feel truly wealthy. According to a survey of the ultra-rich by Fidelity Investments, the real benchmark for being wealthy is $7.5 million.
You already know that it’s not healthy to fight about money all the time, but it might be a bigger risk factor for divorce than you think. A 2009 University of Virginia study found that couples who argue about finances every a week are 30% more likely to divorce than those who argue less frequently. In addition, a couple that marries with no assets are 70% more likely to divorce in three years than a couple bringing $10k in assets into the union.
Adam Baker at Get Rich Slowly suggests you’ll be able to better stick to a budget if you pick one non-essential hobby or interest instead of cutting them all out. The key to figuring out whether or not it’s something worth “wasting” money on is to identify any hidden benefits, and then to make sure there aren’t hidden drawbacks.