Topic: Consumer Reports Money Adviser
How to score a low-rate mortgage—even if you’re not a billionaire
Yonkers, NY – Of course it’s easier to get a sweet deal on a mortgage if you’re a billionaire, but with some extra planning, paperwork and patience, average folks can also score a low-rate one.
Although lending standards are still tight, the four horsemen to qualify for today’s best rates are documented income, a high credit score, a significant down payment and a low debt load. «Read the rest of this article»
Yonkers, NY – Holiday shopping—with its long checkout lines, sold-out must-haves, credit-card snafus and gift-wrapping marathons can take its toll on even the most patient consumers.
“In the frenzy of the holidays, even disciplined shoppers might spend too much or make poor gift choices,” said Noreen Perrotta, editor, Consumer Reports Money Adviser. “Steering clear of common holiday shopping pitfalls can help you get through the season in good cheer and with your finances intact.” «Read the rest of this article»
Yonkers, NY – The first six months of 2011 were a tough time to be a homeowner: wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; damaging snow in the Midwest; floods in the Midwest and the Plains; and tornadoes, hail, wind or lightning everywhere east of the Rockies.
Thank goodness for homeowners insurance, right? Yes, provided your insurance coverage was adequate. Consumer Reports Money Adviser spoke to industry groups who found that at least two-thirds of the victims of natural disasters were underinsured. «Read the rest of this article»
What do to when retirement plans go awry
CRMA’s expert advice for unforeseen events including losing your spouse and when you can’t sell your home
Yonkers, NY – No matter how carefully you’ve prepared for your retirement, some unforeseen events—such as losing a spouse or not being able to sell your home—could derail your plans. This is a special concern if you’re just a couple of years from retirement, when you don’t have a lot of time to recover from negative setbacks.
Many soon-to-be retirees learned this the hard way during the recession and are struggling with hardships including lost health insurance, trouble paying the mortgage or rent, and having used up all their savings. «Read the rest of this article»
New Ways to Complain—CRMA’s roundup of where to air your gripes online and how to write an effective complaint
Yonkers, NY – Whether it’s a rave review of your new flat screen TV on Amazon.com or a scathing critique of a car dealer on Yelp or Facebook, there are plenty of online outlets where you can post your opinions. And companies are paying attention.
The experts at Consumer Reports Money Adviser (CRMA) have seen Sears, for example, respond to dozens of consumer complaints posted on Twitter, where the company has a customer-service page, on its home services blog, and on The Consumerist, a Website owned by Consumer Reports. In many cases, Sears responded by providing information on how to contact an employee who should be able to help with a problem. «Read the rest of this article»
Consumer Reports Monday Adviser Tests Three Software Programs
Yonkers, NY – A well-written will is essential, but you don’t necessarily need an attorney to write it. A number of software providers promise to help you draft a legal will for far less than you’d pay a lawyer.
The experts at Consumer Reports Money Adviser tested three electronic offerings: LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Quicken WillMaker Plus. The result: All three are better than nothing if you have no will. But unless your needs are very simple—say, you want to leave everything to your spouse with no other provisions—none of them is likely to meet your needs. And CRMA found problems with all three. «Read the rest of this article»
Protecting your assets — what to do if disaster strikes
Yonkers, NY – With natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados in the news so often, and the economy still struggling to stabilize, consumers are rightly concerned these days about their financial future should serious trouble strike.
“You can count on the government and sometimes your employer to help, but most of the burden of safeguarding your finances still falls on your shoulders,” said Noreen Perrotta, Editor, Consumer Reports Money Adviser.
The experts at Consumer Reports Money Adviser provide the following checklist to help you fill any holes in your financial safety net. «Read the rest of this article»
Yonkers, NY – Unfortunately, a great marriage can go south when financial problems arise. Whether or not to buy an annuity, how much to invest in bonds, and where to find the money for home repairs doesn’t exactly sound like sweetheart talk. But on the other hand, reaching common ground on family money matters can improve matrimonial happiness and stability.
The experts at Consumer Reports Money Adviser identified three common disputes between couples and offer tips on how resolve these battles. «Read the rest of this article»
Consumer Reports Money Adviser February Issue
Yonkers, NY – Whether it’s fake checks, bogus products and services, or identity theft, it seems there’s always someone out there trying to make suckers out of us. Scams can cost consumers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
It’s not easy to spot a scam, even for savvy consumers. The editors of Consumer Reports Money Adviser point out some common schemes and the precautions you can take: «Read the rest of this article»
Five unexpected ways to save more in 2011
Some 55 percent of Consumer Reports readers said they were likely to include saving more money on their list of New Year’s resolutions. To help you save more money, the experts at Consumer Reports Money Adviser’s January issue offers the following tips:
Watch out for extra surcharges on rental cars. If you have a lead foot or aren’t careful about feeding parking meters, you might find unexpected surcharges on your next rental-car bill. Advantage, Avis, Budget, and Hertz bill rental-car customers’ credit cards a $30 administrative fee for violations including parking tickets, toll transgressions, and no-nos picked up by traffic cameras like running a red light. «Read the rest of this article»