Seven years after federal regulators charged shady “no credit check” computer seller BlueHippo with contempt for allegedly violating a 2008 order by continuing to take money from customers without providing promised computers, the company has been ordered to pay $13.4 million. [More]
Rent-to-own deals — where you pay weekly or monthly installments on a purchase instead of buying it outright — are typically offered for pricier home goods, like furniture, appliances, and electronics, and often end up costing significantly more than you’d pay in cash or with a credit card. Some retailers are extending this idea to pet-buying, and just like renting-to-own a new TV or fridge, a rent-to-own puppy is going to cost you a lot more than you’d pay otherwise. [More]
At first glance, American Apparel and RadioShack don’t seem to have much in common: one uses provocative advertisements to sell leggings, T-shirts and other clothing items, while the other focuses more on the sale of wireless and electronic products. Unfortunately, the things the two companies do have in common aren’t so great: both have suffered through years of slumping sales that eventually led them to, separately, file for bankruptcy protection. And that means they could soon share a common hero in hedge fund Standard General. [More]
The California Public Utilities Commission plans to get to the bottom of why Verizon and AT&T phone service isn’t consistent in the state by making it clear that the state hasn’t forgotten a years-old order requiring that both providers conduct and finance investigations into their infrastructures. [More]
A discount retailer that sells itself as being friendly to military borrowers has been pushed into the spotlight, thanks to a report highlighting questionable lending and marketing tactics that lead some borrowers into lawsuits where they can’t reasonably defend themselves. [More]
With banks continuing to stick to high (well, higher) lending standards, and car dealers eager to move inventory, now could be the right time to buy a new car and finance it through the dealer, according to SmartMoney. Rates are as low as zero percent, and . “nothing beats 0%,” says Paul Taylor, of the National Automobile Dealers Association. [More]
Mike forgot to pay off the balance of a purchase he made on a Best Buy/HSBC credit card by the no-interest deadline and faced more than $500 in charges. On a whim, he followed our advice for launching an Executive Email Carpet Bomb and Jedi mind-tricked Best Buy into forgetting about the interest. [More]
Store financing offers like 0% down, pay nothing for 6 months, etc, can be a way to lure those who really shouldn’t be buying stuff into purchasing, but if you actually have the cash in hand already, you can leverage them into the equivalent of an interest-earning free loan. [More]
According to SpendMatters, one big reason the government burned through $2.3 billion in TARP funds for CIT even though it was buckling under debt was to try to avoid ruining everybody’s Christmas this year.
The folks at Bankrate and Yahoo! Finance have put together a guide that translates the silly things that are often said in car commercials.
Kristin and her husband say they’ve made all the payments on their Nissan Altima on time, but Nissan has nevertheless denied their payments and reported them delinquent to credit bureaus. Customer service won’t help, and they don’t know what to do. Their story:
Cool Tools has an interesting suggestion for home owners who want to incorporate solar technology, but can’t afford the steep investment costs: let the solar panel company finance it for you. The trade-off is you won’t save as much money as you would if you paid for them outright, but you will save some money, and the company that’s paying for the panels has a financial incentive to keep them working properly over the course of the agreement.
With a week to go before the deadline runs out on Chrysler’s bailout — it’s looking less and less likely that the automaker will be saved from liquidation.
BusinessWeek did a little math and discovered that if you lined up all the new financing deals, tax incentives and discounts — a new car might actually be cheaper than a late model used one. But do you care?
You, dear consumer, have abruptly stopped purchasing automobiles. GM’s sales are down 45%. Ford has sunk by 30% and Toyota, yes, that Toyota is down 23%.
Consumer Reports has compiled a list of common car shopping mistakes from their Smart Buyer’s Guide to Buying or Leasing a Car, which, of course, you can find in bookstores.