If you owe creditors less than $5,000 (not including a mortgage) you’re in a rather small group of Americans with minimal debt. According to a new survey, nearly half the country owes at least $25,000 — and spends as much as half of their monthly income paying down their debt. [More]
Despite claims from the payday loan industry that Americans don’t want reforms intended to prevent borrowers of these short-term loans from falling into a revolving debt trap, two new reports show that most people do think it’s time to rein in payday lending and provide more affordable loan options for borrowers in need. [More]
More than 70 million Americans are contacted by a debt collector or creditor each year. While those debt collectors have a job — to get borrowers to repay on their overdue debts — some have used illegal tactics, such as threatening lawsuits, arrests, or contacting consumers’ employers or family members. Now, a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds that harassment by these collectors is all too common. [More]
Shortly after federal regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million for its decades-long fake account fiasco perpetrated by employees who opened more than two million unauthorized accounts in order to meet high-pressure sales goals, the company said it would ditch the incentive system. Now, the bank has finally outlined its new approach to compensating employees that shifts the focus away from upselling add-on products and toward improved customer satisfaction. [More]
For years we’ve talked about “showrooming” — the practice of going to a bricks-and-mortar retailer just to look at a product you intend to buy online, and now Amazon has apparently supplanted traditional search engines as the place for most Americans to begin their product hunt.
Would you walk into a bank — or call up the federal government — and borrow $50,000 or more without having some idea of when or how you’ll be expected to pay it back, or what can happen to you if you fall behind? That probably sounds unwise to you, but the results of a new survey show that a large majority of college students who take out loans are jumping into the deep end of the debt pool without any advice or guidance. [More]
Expensive. Harmful. Predatory. Those are just a few of the words that members of faith-based groups used to describe payday and auto-title loans in a recent report that asked congregants in 30 states to detail their experience with the short-term, high-cost loans and similar financial products. [More]
As the economy continues to bounce back from the Great Recession, consumers have adopted a more optimistic outlook when it comes to their finances despite the fact that a third of the country has no savings put away for the future, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve. [More]
When you visit your doctor for a blood test, get an ultrasound, or have surgery at a medical facility that accepts your insurance, you likely expect that you’ll only be required to go out-of-pocket for the co-pays and deductibles detailed in your health plan. But the results of a new survey show that there’s a decent chance you’ll be hit with a surprise charge or two when those medical bills finally arrive. [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.
In case you hadn’t checked the calendar, 2014 is over but there’s still a lot of unfinished business oodles of uncertainty in front of us. So let’s see what images your crystal ball is conjuring. [More]
Millions of Americans dream of the day that they exit the dark, desolate tunnel of debt and can live their lives without owing money to anyone. But sadly, a new report finds that most consumers actually have little hope of ever being debt-free. [More]
Did consumers learn nothing from the Great Recession? Okay, they learned several things, but putting away for a rainy day doesn’t appear to be one of them.
What do clean water, locally sourced labels and certified organic products have in common? Tough one, right? They are all thing consumer are willing to pay more money for in order to feel as if they’ve made a difference in the world. [More]
Several years ago, during the Great Recession, Consumerist asked the question many of us were thinking: If everyone is broke, is there still a class system? The answer was, probably, yes. And today it remains the same, even though many Americans are realizing they no longer hold a spot in the middle class.