Consumer Banking

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Using Credit Cards Correctly in Trying Economic Times
Federal and state laws impose a variety of obligations on credit card companies. These laws regulate areas such as discrimination, information disclosure, billing, and debt collection. If you don't understand how credit cards work and what your rights are, your credit card application may be unfairly ... READ MORE

Consumers and Congress Tackle Big Bank Fees
That little $5 purchase just cost you $39. That $10 cash withdrawal in the morning and $10 more in the afternoon cost you a total of $78. Crunch the numbers, and you have paid a hefty price for having overdrawn your bank account by $25. And it seems that your bank has made easy money by racking up these ... READ MORE

The FDIC Can It Go Bankrupt
FDIC is short for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, created by the government in 1933 in the aftermath of the Great Depression. The FDIC protects the money you put in an FDIC-insured bank in case the bank goes out of business. The program has been very successful. Since it began, no depositor has ... READ MORE

Lenders Are Watching More than Your Credit Score
Your credit report plays a big role when it comes to getting that new loan or credit card. In fact, for years it's been the key in most credit decisions. That's changing though. As the US economic recovery continues, banks, credit card companies, and other lenders are much more careful when deciding ... READ MORE

Avoid Default on Government Student Loans
The amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is close to $1 trillion. Student debt has passed up credit-card debt to become the second-largest category of consumer debt in the country. Only mortgage debt is higher. Due to the poor job market of the past few years, nearly one in six student loan borrowers ... READ MORE

Keep an Eye on Your Savings Account
Opening a savings account isn't as straightforward as it used to be. Today, you have more account options to choose from and you don't always need to visit your local bank to open the account. As a result, it's become even more important to read the fine print of the agreements or contracts you sign ... READ MORE

Linking a Checking Account and Debit Card Could be Risky
Having a checking account that's linked to a debit card is almost a necessity these days. It is a standard option offered by most banks. However, this doesn't mean that all checking accounts are the same. When you open an account, the documents you sign create a contract or agreement between you and ... READ MORE

Prepaid Debit Cards Largely Unregulated
Prepaid debit cards continue to grow in popularity and usage. In 2009, consumers loaded $28.6 billion onto these cards. In 2011, the amount was $83.3 billion. By 2013, industry experts predict that the amount will be $201.9 billion. Consumers should be aware that the fast-growing pre-paid debit card ... READ MORE

What to Know Before Applying for a Personal Loan
Taking out a personal loan generally requires making an application with a bank. If you are approved, you must then sign a promissory note before receiving the funds. However, getting the loan isn't always so straightforward. There are a number of things to consider, such as the interest rate you'll ... READ MORE

Add a Spouse's Name to Titled Property & Accounts
People get married at all ages and stages of life, but marrying later is a continuing trend. The older you are, chances are you have more property than at a younger age. So, you and your new spouse need to decide how you'll own your property. Couples can keep their separate or nonmarital property, or ... READ MORE

 

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