The Daily Dollar

Defend Your Dollars is the website of the Consumers Union Financial Services Campaign, where we support reforms to the financial marketplace to curb bad practices by banks and lenders.

Monday Tip From Money Mom: Spend those gift cards now!
Posted by Gail, the money mom at 12/31/07 06:00 AM

As a consumer advocate, I usually say that consumers should make a budget and stick to it, think carefully before making purchases, as so on. Here is a fun and refreshing piece of consumer advice: if you just received a gift card this holiday season, get out there and spend it! A nationwide survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in November 2007 found that 27% of consumers who received a gift card the year before still had not spent all of the funds on those gift cards. Read more about this survey at: http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_financial_services/005188.html. Read more »

Prepaid cards – pitfalls and profit?
Posted by Gail H. at 12/18/07 02:02 PM

A prepaid spending card looks and works like a bank account debit card, but it may have more fees and fewer consumer protections. It is time for the Federal Reserve Board to clearly apply basic consumer protections such as the right to get stolen money back within ten business days to all general spending cards, particularly cards which are designed to hold enough money at one time that they can serve as substitutes for a bank account. Read more »

Monday's tip from Money Mom: "No payments until 2009" may cost more than you think!
Posted by Gail H. at 12/17/07 11:36 AM

The advertisements are full of “buy now, pay later” promises, such as “no payments, no interest for 90 days” and “No payments until January 2009.” These programs can cost much more than you might expect. They are often filled with fine print conditions that can cause you to lose the “no interest” feature. Read more »

Do you know where your SSN is?
Posted by Brent Scott at 12/12/07 02:23 PM

SSN PolaroidIt’s time to get Social Security numbers off the Internet, out of our wallets, and out of our mail. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held public a workshop on Security Numbers (SSN) in Washington, DC on Monday and Tuesday, December 10 and 11, 2007. Read more »

No One Is Immune From Identity Theft
Posted by Brent Scott at 12/07/07 04:44 PM

Whether you're from Malibu or Manhattan, Tacoma or Tallahassee, no one is immune from identity theft. Read more »