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  • 7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

    Imagine what you could lose, tapping into your home equity only to hire a bad contractor for a home renovation. In this case, prevention is better than cure and the best way to do so is to...

    • Posted May 25, 2018
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  • 3 Types of Insurance That Are Worth Spending Money On

    Insurance is frustrating. While it can surely come in handy in a pinch, it’s hard not to look at the money you spend on a given policy and feel you’ve wasted it if you don’t need to...

    • Posted May 25, 2018
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  • Experts Advise to Live Below Your Means

    Have you ever heard the expression “live below your means,” and wondered what it meant? According to the Huffington Post, living below your means is when “you live a lifestyle below your net income.” Basically, if you...

    • Posted May 25, 2018
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  • Time’s Up for Florida Operation That Pitched Worthless Timeshare Resale Scheme

    Defendants permanently banned from selling timeshare resale or rental services, telmarketing Along with being permanently banned from timeshare resale services and telemarketing, the Florida-based operators behind a deceptive timeshare resale scheme have agreed to surrender approximately $3.4...

    • Posted May 24, 2018
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  • 7 Non-Obvious Ways to Save on a Kitchen Remodel

    Have you been diligently planning what a new kitchen would look like? You’ve probably saved dozens of images from Houzz and Pinterest and even been dreaming about how a new kitchen would bring value to your daily...

    • Posted May 23, 2018
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  • How I Got Rid of 6 Figures of Student Loan Debt in 5 Years

    In the winter of 2011, I learned that the love of my life had over six figures of student loan debt. She was starting her MBA holding a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering and entering...

    • Posted May 23, 2018
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  • Guard Your New Medicare ID Card to Avoid Fraud

    Medicare ID fraud happens when someone uses your Medicare card to get your personal information, like your Social Security or Medicare ID number. A fraudster could steal your identity to open new credit cards or bank accounts...

    • Posted May 22, 2018
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  • Change Your Twitter Password. Now.

    You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords “unmasked” in an internal log. What does this mean? If you are a Twitter user, your password could be exposed. Twitter says...

    • Posted May 22, 2018
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  • Mobile Phone Maker BLU Reaches Settlement with FTC over Deceptive Privacy and Data Security Claims

    Agency alleges BLU misled consumers and put their personal data at risk Mobile phone manufacturer BLU Products, Inc. and its co-owner have reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that the company allowed a...

    • Posted May 21, 2018
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  • FTC Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Mortgage Relief Operation That Deceived Homeowners

    Defendants sought advance payments for services they never delivered The Federal Trade Commission has charged a mortgage relief operation with deceiving distressed homeowners by falsely promising to make their mortgages more affordable and prevent foreclosure. A federal...

    • Posted May 21, 2018
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  • Defendants Who Took Part in Business Coaching Scheme Settle FTC Charges

    Consumers were told they could earn income through online businesses Five deceptive marketers and the companies they ran are banned from selling business coaching programs and investment opportunities, and from credit card laundering and telemarketing, under a...

    • Posted May 17, 2018
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  • The Subtle Psychology of Credit Cards

    Even when we know that they can be dangerous to our finances, we still feel drawn to use our credit cards. In fact, in today’s fast paced, high tech world, it seems almost impossible to live without...

    • Posted May 14, 2018
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  • FTC: Lending Club Misled People About Hidden Fees

    If you need to borrow money to consolidate credit card debt, make home or auto repairs, or move across country, a personal loan can help cover your expenses. Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they don’t require...

    • Posted May 14, 2018
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  • Publishers Clearing House imposters keep coming

    Who wouldn’t love to be that winner you see on TV holding a great big sweepstakes check? That’s what con artists are counting on when they claim to be Publishers Clearing House. This trick is an oldie...

    • Posted May 14, 2018
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  • My Top Tips for Working While Traveling

    This weekend, my wife and I will be hopping in the car and hitting the road — this time heading to Walt Disney World… for the second time in two months. Not long after that, we’ll be...

    • Posted May 11, 2018
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  • Entrepreneurs: Learn Why a Debt-Filled Past Can Seriously Affect Your Growth Plans

    The average household debt has increased dramatically in the last three decades. With the cost of living on the rise, minimum wage stalled, and a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the job market, it’s no wonder people are...

    • Posted May 10, 2018
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  • The Curse (And Cost) of Commuting

    I want to focus our attention on a subject now that I feel like gets talked about both all the time, and not enough. The cost of commuting. Not only the commuting cost in dollars, but in...

    • Posted May 9, 2018
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  • Borrow Your Own Money? 401k Loans Explained

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, We “borrowed” money from our 401K a few years ago and again just last year. Don’t know if other 401K plans do this – but we are allowed to borrow up to half of...

    • Posted May 9, 2018
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  • Debt Relief Scammers Settle with FTC and Florida; Will Submit $35 Million in Assets for Consumer Redress

    Three marketers who allegedly sold phony debt relief services, including fake loans, have agreed to be banned from selling debt relief, credit repair and financial products and services, to be banned from telemarketing, and to turn over...

    • Posted May 8, 2018
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  • Department of Justice Begins Second Distribution of Funds Recovered Through Asset Forfeiture Totaling $1.2 Billion to Compensate Victims of Bernard Madoff Fraud Scheme

    “> The Department of Justice today announced that on April 12, the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF) began its second distribution of $504 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. Government in connection with the Bernard L. Madoff...

    • Posted May 8, 2018
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  • Former U.S. Congressman Convicted of Mail and Wire Fraud, Campaign Finance Violations, Money Laundering and Filing a False Tax Return

    A federal jury convicted former U.S. Representative Stephen E. Stockman for orchestrating a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran those foundations to illegally finance Stockman’s campaigns for...

    • Posted May 7, 2018
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  • Reducing the Cost of Being a Wedding Guest

    Weddings are wonderful events. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the love of two people who are planning on spending their lives together. Unfortunately, the cost of attending a wedding isn’t exactly cheap. There are those who say...

    • Posted May 7, 2018
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  • Backpage’s Co-founder and CEO, As Well As Several Backpage-Related Corporate Entities, Enter Guilty Pleas

    Earlier, the Justice Department announced the seizure of Backpage.com, the Internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children, and the unsealing of a 93-count federal indictment against seven Backpage principals.  Today, the...

    • Posted May 4, 2018
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  • 3 Common Credit Issues and What You Can do to Fix Them

    Your credit history can determine if you can get a loan, and even where you live or work. Credit scores are built from your credit history and can determine how much you pay to borrow money for...

    • Posted May 3, 2018
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  • Getting a Home Inspection Before You List Your Home

    You’ve heard the saying that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. It’s not a popular one in the frugal community where we’ll save every penny, nickel, and dime because they add up to dollars....

    • Posted May 2, 2018
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  • Lance Armstrong Agrees to Pay $5 Million to Settle False Claims Allegations Arising From Violation of Anti-Doping Provisions of U.S. Postal Service Sponsorship Agreement

    Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong agreed to pay the United States $5 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that his admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods (“PEDs”) resulted in the submission of millions of dollars in...

    • Posted May 1, 2018
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  • True Stories of the Best and Worst Credit Advice

    Most friends, family, and coworkers love to give advice. If you’ve asked them for credit advice, however, you’ve probably heard some pretty terrible suggestions. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice about your finances, but make sure you...

    • Posted April 30, 2018
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  • Scammers target Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund

    Consumers are reporting a new imposter scam — this time the callers are pretending to be with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). According to reports, the callers are telling people they may be entitled to...

    • Posted April 30, 2018
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  • Sabotaged by Impulse Buys

    So, you’ve put together a budget. That’s great! But, why do we so often end up overspending our budget? Maurie Backman recently wrote an article for The Motley Fool entitled “This Money Habit is Hurting 5 out...

    • Posted April 30, 2018
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  • Tax Crime Does Not Pay

    It’s that time of year again: tax season. The Justice Department would like to remind the public during this time of year that evading your tax obligations could end badly, with substantial fines and penalties, and even...

    • Posted April 27, 2018
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  • Prepare Your Car for Summer Driving

    Summer driving season is getting underway. Hot weather can take its toll on vehicles, and a well-maintained engine will use fuel more efficiently. So, to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition and keep money in your pocket,...

    • Posted April 27, 2018
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  • A new way to report tax identity theft

    Identity theft is hard enough. That’s why we keep working to make recovering from it easier. It’s also why we’re happy to let you know about an innovative project by the FTC and IRS that lets people...

    • Posted April 26, 2018
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  • Bankruptcy of Your Student Loan — Is It Possible?

    BANKRUPTCY 101 My previous post on my blog dealt with providing answers to some questions I had received from a fellow in California who was in the process of deciding if he should file Bankruptcy and if...

    • Posted April 25, 2018
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  • Why You Should Do All Your Shopping on Craigslist

    Craigslist. Firstly, this place doesn’t get enough credit for being the marketplace of the future. It’s incredible that when we don’t want something anymore, we can upload a photo to the internet and a little while later...

    • Posted April 25, 2018
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  • 8 Steps to Take if You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

    Many people dread tax season. Tax season is a very stressful time of the year. As a taxpayer, you are uncertain if you will owe taxes or get a refund. I dread having to gather all of...

    • Posted April 24, 2018
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  • FTC Sending Refund Checks Totaling More Than $355,000 to Consumers Who Bought CogniPrin ‘Memory Improvement’ Supplement

    The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 2,116 refund checks totaling more than $355,000 to people who bought CogniPrin, a deceptively marketed ‘memory improvement’ supplement. The average check amount is $168.08, and represents full refunds. In February 2017,...

    • Posted April 24, 2018
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  • Breaches at Lord & Taylor, Saks, & MyFitnessPal

    Was your information exposed in the latest data breaches at Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, or Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal? If so, here are some steps to take. First, visit IdentityTheft.gov/databreach to get detailed...

    • Posted April 23, 2018
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  • 7 Totally Free Ways to Be Happier Today

    Are you feeling down in the dumps? No need to indulge in some retail therapy or a tropical vacation to cheer yourself up. Here are seven totally free ways to be happier today. Do something nice for...

    • Posted April 23, 2018
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  • Need Help? Call a Semi-Pro

    Two out of the three toilets in my home did not work. I called the plumber, but he never called back. Maybe he was tired of making yet another trek to my house. Meanwhile, my handyman was...

    • Posted April 20, 2018
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  • An Expert Shares the Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

    Public, free Wi-Fi is a convenience that most of us appreciate, but you shouldn’t be blinded by their too-good-to-be-true appeal. Using public Wi-Fi networks might just be one of the riskiest, tech-related mistakes you make on a...

    • Posted April 20, 2018
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  • Robinhood Review — an Easy Way to Start Investing

    I’ll admit it off the bat: I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about investing. Despite the technical analysis seminars I’d tag along with my father to, my past experience with apps like Acorns, and...

    • Posted April 20, 2018
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  • How to Know if the Car You’re About to Buy Is a Lemon

    The truth is, any time we buy anything there’s a risk that the product isn’t all it was cracked up to be. But the stakes get a lot higher when the prices do, and they’re compounded by...

    • Posted April 19, 2018
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  • Talking to Aging Parents About Finances

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if your aging parents could no longer manage their own money or affairs? When should you consider bringing up money management with your parents? And, how do you broach the...

    • Posted April 19, 2018
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  • FTC Asking for Access to Your Computer? It’s a Scam.

    Scammers pretending to be with the FTC or with FTC refund administrators are calling, asking for remote access to your computer. It’s been reported that the scammers are calling specifically about the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund...

    • Posted April 19, 2018
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  • CFPB Sues Debt-Relief Companies Illegally Posing As Federal Government

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed suit in federal court against two companies operating under the name “FDAA,” a service provider, and their owners for falsely presenting FDAA as being affiliated with the federal government. The...

    • Posted April 18, 2018
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  • What to Consider When Deciding to Buy a Vehicle

    There are few rites of passage that are as exciting as buying your first new car. I remember it vividly. Unfortunately, that’s mostly because of all mistakes I made in the process and how those decisions would...

    • Posted April 17, 2018
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  • On the Road to Retirement

    You may have heard great stories from friends and co-workers who have borrowed money from their 401(k) to pay for things like weddings, cars and vacations. You are not alone. According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute,...

    • Posted April 17, 2018
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  • Millennial Money Regrets

    What spending did you regret today? Going to the movie theater to see a new first-run flick? Buying plane tickets for an upcoming vacation? Splurging on a latte? Buying day-old sushi at the convenience store? We’re pretty...

    • Posted April 16, 2018
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  • Business License Scams: A Barrier for Reentrants

    It can be hard for a person starting over in life to earn a living — especially if he or she is reentering society from prison. That’s one reason why many reentrants decide to use the trade...

    • Posted April 16, 2018
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  • Shopping for airfare deals

    You want the best deal for your next flight, but the choices can be overwhelming. Will you book directly on an airline’s website, or buy through a site that lets you compare costs across multiple airlines? These...

    • Posted April 13, 2018
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