Resources for Consumers

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Keep Your Balance: A Shopper's Guide to Better Banking

Shopping for a new bank or credit union? Of course you'll check out their rates, fees, location, and hours. But equally important, make sure their lending and banking practices work for YOU. Use this guide to identify bank practices that make it easier for you to hang on to your money. It will help you choose the best financial institution for your needs.

Signs of Predatory Lending

Credit card rip-offs, payday loans, predatory mortgages ... these are just a few of the tricky loans that can drain your wallet. "Signs of Predatory Lending" gives a quick and easy overview of the most common lending scams, whether you're buying a home, getting a car loan, expecting a refund, or simply doing your daily banking and credit transactions.



Your Home Loan

Whether you are buying your first home or worried about foreclosure, the following links provide tips and ways to reach out for help.




Your Checking Account

For many unsuspecting consumers, a simple candy bar can end up costing them more than $36. Read signs your bank is using unfair overdraft practices.



Your Credit Cards

Credit cards have become the financial lifeline for many struggling families. We've gathered tips and tools that can help you avoid being caught deeper in debt.





Payday Loans

Payday loans are advertised as quick, easy solutions to emergency cash needs, but these triple-digit interest loans put many Americans on a treadmill of debt.




Don't Lose Your Car To A Title Lender

Car title loans are marketed as small emergency loans, but in reality they put at high risk an asset that is essential to the well-being of working families -- their vehicle.




Instant Refund Warnings

Tax Refund Anticipation Loans only speed up the refund process by as little as one week, but they can cost you 50% to over 500% APR.




Buying a Car

Ever speed through a dealership? Car financing is loaded with ways to be confused, tripped up, and overcharged. Find out how to navigate abuses.



Debt Scams

Watch out for companies that promise to get you out of debt: many of them do nothing except take your money.




Get Help

If you believe you have been a victim of predatory lending practices, you may want to seek legal advice.