Extended Warranty Advice, New Student Loan Collection Tools, College Not Worth the Cost,

Resist the Extended-Warranty Pitch

While you’re doing your holiday shopping, be prepared for the inevitable pitch to add a service plan, or extended warranty, to your purchase, especially if you’re buying electronics or appliances. Salespeople will tell you that a service plan gives you the peace of mind of knowing that any repairs needed after the manufacturer’s warranty expires will be covered. What they won’t tell you is that stores keep 50 percent or more of what they charge for plans—more than they can make selling actual products. They also won’t tell you these reasons you almost never need one.

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Student-Loan Collection Targeted for Overhaul in Congress

Legislation that Wisconsin Republican Representative Tom Petri plans to introduce as soon as this week would require employers to withhold payments from wages in the same way they do taxes. Payments would be capped at 15 percent of borrowers’ income after basic living expenses.

The plan would resemble those in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Since the money would be withdrawn automatically and tied to income, borrowers would no longer have to negotiate with collectors and loan-servicing companies, which often offer a confusing array of deferral and forbearance options after a job loss or illness. The Education Department would manage the withdrawals, with help from the Internal Revenue Service.

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Survey Finds that half of Respondents Say College is Not Worth the Cost

The crushing financial burden of higher education is eroding the value of a college education, suggests an online survey conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling. A little over half of 220 budget-conscious consumers surveyed in the ACCC poll said college was not worth the cost – with close to 70 percent of those respondents reporting total college debt in excess of $25,000.

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“The tuition and other costs of college continue to escalate for American families,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “More and more young Americans are incurring huge debt right from the age of 18 – placing a tremendous burden on them for the remainder of their lives.”

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FTC Shuts Down Robocall Operation That Allegedly Claimed to Help Consumers Get FTC Consumer Refunds

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal district court temporarily shut down a robocall operation that allegedly impersonated the agency in an attempt to trick consumers into turning over their bank account information and other sensitive personal data, pending resolution of the FTC’s case. The FTC seeks to permanently stop the scheme.

In a complaint filed in federal court, the FTC charged that the operation run by The Cuban Exchange, Inc., also doing business as CrediSure America and MyiPad.us, and its principal, Suhaylee Rivera, deceptively claimed they could help consumers obtain refunds from the agency, in an effort to trick them into providing their personal information and bank account numbers.

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The items above caught my attention and I thought I should share them with you. To read the full articles, click on the links at the end of the excerpts.

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