• SHOULD YOU RENT SOMEONE ELSE'S
    PLACE WHEN YOU GO ON VACATION?
    • More and more holiday travelers are choosing to rent a house or apartment from the owner, rather than book a hotel room. And in most cases, those who go this non-traditional route are happy they did, according to a new survey by Consumer Reports.


WHY REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WANT TO DECLAW AMERICA'S CONSUMER WATCHDOG
The Financial CHOICE Act, which just passed the House, aims to dismantle the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent watchdog agency that protects consumers and investors and has saved Americans almost $12 billion since it was created six years ago.
 
CYBERCRIME 'HIT THE BIG TIME' IN 2016, ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY
Cybercriminals had a very good year in 2016 – and we all paid the price. These digital bandits became more ambitious and more creative and that resulted in a year marked by "extraordinary attacks," according to a new report from Symantec.
 
U.S. AIRLINES SCORE HIGHER FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
This may come as a surprise in light of recent events, but a new survey finds that the nation’s airlines did a better job of making customers happy this past year. Once again this year, two discount carriers had the highest overall scores.
 
IRS HIRES PRIVATE COLLECTORS TO CHASE DOWN OLD TAX DEBT
The U.S. Postal Service has found a way to give snail mail a digital twist. It’s a free new service, Informed Delivery, that shows you the letters and cards that will be in your mailbox later that day.
 
NEW USPS SERVICE LETS YOU PREVIEW YOUR MAIL DELIVERY
Uncle Sam needs some help collecting unpaid taxes, so the Internal Revenue Service will now use private companies to tackle this growing backlog of debt. Consumer advocates worry this could lead to harassment and an increase in IRS imposter fraud.
 
COSIGNING A PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN CAN HAVE SERIOUS FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES
Most private student loans require a cosigner – typically a parent – who must put their good credit on the line to get the loan approved. Many parents do not understand what it means to cosign and are surprised to see their credit scores drop and their retirement delayed by doing it.
 
THE BEST WAY TO PAY DOWN THOSE COSTLY CREDIT CARD BALANCES
With interest rates going up, it's more important than ever to pay off those credit card balances. If you have more than one card with an unpaid balance, you need a plan. A new study shows how to increase your chances of success.
 
WATCH OUT FOR DISHONEST TAX PREPARERS WHO CHARGE TOO MUCH & FILE FALSE RETURNS
The annual rush to file taxes creates a major opportunity for fraudulent tax preparers who charge inflated fees and file inaccurate returns to claim bogus refunds. They put you at greater risk of fines, fees or an IRS audit.
 
U.S. RETAILERS DO BETTER JOB OF SATISFYING CUSTOMERS, SURVEY FINDS
The nation's retailers are doing a better job of making their customers happy. After two years of declining satisfaction, they reversed course during the 2016 holiday shopping season, but many people still prefer to shop online.
 
CONNECTED HOMES AND CARS CAN BE DIFFICULT FOR NEW BUYERS TO UN-PLUG
It seems that smart products aren't quite smart enough to disconnect from the original owner when they're sold. That can lead to serious privacy and security problems if you sell a connected car or a home with locks, thermostats or security system that can be controlled via the Internet.

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