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Free Library of References and Resources: Money

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51 Ways to Save Hundreds on Loans and Credit Cards - Simple strategies for cutting costs any time, plus specific tips for saving money when you use credit cards and apply for home, auto, small emergency, student and small business loans. (PDF file)

A Consumerís Guide to Sweepstakes and Lotteries - Recognize the difference between legitimate sweepstakes and other types of offers, such as prize promotions, and illegitimate promotions that misrepresent themselves and seek to defraud.

A Consumer's Guide to Sweepstakes and Lotteries - Direct mail sweepstakes promotions offer consumers the chance to win money and prizes in return for opening an envelope and returning the entry form. As more companies use sweepstakes to draw attention to their products and services, and as participation increases, growing numbers of individuals are winning prizes, many in quite substantial amounts. This booklet is for you to use as a guide when responding to sweepstakes offers and for recognizing the difference between legitimate sweepstakes and other types of offers, such as prize promotions, and illegitimate promotions that misrepresent themselves and seek to defraud.

Affinity Fraud - These scam schemes target religious, elderly, ethnic, professional, and other groups. Get tips on how to avoid becoming a victim and where to get more information.

Bankruptcy Basics - There are 5 basic types of bankruptcy cases used to obtain relief from debt. Learn the differences in debts discharged, assets kept, forms needed, where to file, and more. (PDF file)

Before Disaster Strikes - Suggests ways to be financially prepared to deal with a natural disaster. Information on buying insurance, preparing a household inventory, filling an evacuation box, and more.

Building Wealth - Building Wealth is a personal finance education resource that can be used individually or in the classroom to help young people develop a plan for building personal wealth. It contains information about budgeting, saving and investing, controlling debt, and protecting wealth with insurance. (PDF File)

Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future - Offers introductory guidance to individuals and families seeking help to develop a plan for building personal wealth. (PDF file)

Buying Time: The Facts About Pre- Paid Phone Cards - How to buy long distance telephone services in advance. (PDF file)

Certificates of Deposit: Tips for Investors - Learn how CDs work, how to purchase them, and questions to ask before buying.

Choosing a Credit Card - Compare the features and costs, and learn your liability limits when using a credit card. Covers what to do if there is a billing error or another problem with your credit card.

Cold Calling - How can you stop sellers from calling, what are the signs of a scam or fraud, and who can you contact for help?

Consumer Fraud by Phone or Mail Know How to Protect Yourself - When phone calls and postcards are bringing you marvelous offers to buy "shares"or "interests" in foreign lotteries; low-cost vacations; magazine subscriptions; office supplies or promotional items or club memberships, it's a good idea to be skeptical. Learn how to tell the real offers from the fakes.

Consumer Handbook to Credit Protection Laws - This guide explains how consumer credit laws can help and protect you.

Credit and Divorce - Compares the benefits and disadvantages of individual, joint and "user" accounts. Steps to take if you divorce or separate. (PDF file)

Credit Card Repayment Calculator - The Federal Reserve Board has put on their website an easy "calculator" to estimate how long it will take to pay off credit card debt.

Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself - You see the advertisements in newspapers, on TV, and on the Internet. You hear them on the radio. You get fliers in the mail, and maybe even calls offering credit repair services. (PDF file)

Credit Reporting 101 - When was the last time you checked your credit report for accuracy? How do you obtain your credit score? What does your credit report mean to those who lend you money and credit? Not only does your credit report affect your financial life, but it can also affect your career, education, and the interest rates that lenders offer you. By periodically reviewing your credit report, you can see your payment history, understand how your credit is rated, prevent errors from going undetected, and save delay when you need an accurate credit report the most.

C utting through the Confusion on Investing - Explains the differences between brokers, investment advisers, and financial planners and identifies questions investors should ask themselves and potential providers before making a choice.

Electronic Banking - Learn more about electronic transactions, such as debit cards and online account access, including how transactions are processed, their timing, security, and legal protections. (PDF file)

Employment Background Checks and Credit Reports - Credit reporting companies and other businesses that provide background information sell your file to employers that, in turn, use it to evaluate your applications for employment. Employers also are allowed to use these reports to consider you for retention, promotion or reassignment. Estate Planning - Covers why a will is important and how to prepare one; how to estimate the size of your estate and minimize taxes; and how to set up powers of attorney and advance medical directives.

Finding a Lost Pension - Hereís how to find out if you have an unclaimed pension, where to search, documents youíll need, and what to do when you find your pension fund. (PDF file)

Fiscal Fitness: Choosing a Credit Counselor - Credit counselors offer a variety of services that can help you put your financial life back in order. Use this guide to choose the credit counselor that is right for you. (PDF file)

Fraud Fighting 101: Smart Tips for Older Investors - Even if you have never been subjected to an investment fraudster's sales pitch, you probably know someone who has. Following the legendary Willie Sutton principle, fraudsters tend to go "where the money is" -- and that means targeting older Americans who are nearing or already in retirement. Fraudsters also have in their sites the millions of Baby Boomers who have been accumulating sizeable retirement nest eggs through company 401(k)s and personal accounts

Get a Good Nightís Sleep: Rest Assured, Your Money is Safe in an FDIC-Insured Account - Answers common questions about how Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation coverage works, what is not covered, and what happens if a bank fails. Includes an FDIC-Insured Depositorís Bill of Rights. Also, explains what to do if your home equity line of credit is frozen. (PDF file)

How the SEC Handles Your Complaint - Information on how and when to file an investor complaint with the SEC.

How to Resolve a Complaint Against a Thrift Institution or Savings Association - Information on how the Office of Thrift Supervision of the U.S. Department of Treasury may be able to help.

I Bonds Investor's Guide - Follow this easy-to-read Q&A format to find out if I Bonds are a good way for you to save and invest money.

Identity Crisis...What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen - It sounds like something out of a spy movie--but it can happen. Thieves can get your bank, credit, debit, charge, and Social Security card numbers. Find out how to protect yourself. (PDF file)

Identity Theft: Safeguard Your Personal Information - Identity theft is Americaís fastest growing crime. Identity theft occurs when a crook steals key pieces of personal identifying information, which may include a name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and motherís maiden name, to gain access to a personís financial accounts. Armed with this information, an identity thief may open new credit or financial accounts, buy cars, apply for loans or Social Security benefits, rent an apartment, or set up utility and phone service - in someone elseís name. Add these tips to your "must do" list to protect your identity.

Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams - Questions to ask about online investment opportunities, tips on the warning signs of fraud, and what to do if you run into problems.

Invest Wisely - Basic tips to help you select a brokerage firm and representative, and make and monitor an investment Identifies questions to ask and warning signs to look for to avoid problems.

Investors' Bill of Rights - What you should know about investments and what information you are entitled to before investing. (PDF file)

Money & Mobility: For Military Personnel and Families - A comprehensive resource to help you prepare for deployments and duty station changes. Focuses on a wide variety of financial issues and concerns of service members with children. Discusses money traps and scams; gives tips on investing and saving.

Money Tips for All Ages: Your Finances at Different Stages of Life - Practical help for teens, young adults, newlyweds, people at midlife, parents, retirees, and financial caregivers. Also for those dealing with a medical emergency, job loss or other major life events. (PDF file)

Need a Loan? Think Twice About Using Your Home as Collateral - Useful tips to help you protect your home and equity when applying for a loan. (PDF file)

New Consumer Protections for Credit Cards and Mortgages - A new law going into effect in 2010 protects consumers from surprise fees, rate increases and other credit card penalties. New rules effective in 2009 and 2010 prohibit many of the unfair and deceptive mortgage lending practices that led some borrowers to unaffordable home loans. This booklet details the eagerly-awaited changes. (PDF file)

New Credit Card Rules Effective August 22, 2010 - More new rules from the Federal Reserve mean more new credit card protections for you. Here are some key changes you should expect from your credit card company beginning on August 22, 2010.

Preventing Identity Theft: A Guide for Consumers - Provides information and resources to help you avoid this crime and repair the damage if necessary. Includes a list of ways in which identity thieves can steal your personal information. (PDF file)

Preventing Mail Fraud - U.S. Postal Inspection Service has prepared this booklet to help consumers and businesses identify different types of mail fraud. Every year, thousands of people and businesses are victimized by mail fraud schemes. Protecting U.S. Mail and the mail system is the responsibility of the Postal Inspection Service. As a law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization performing criminal investigations, security, and crime prevention functions. Postal Inspectors investigate violations of federal mail fraud laws and other mail-related crime.

Reverse Mortgages: Are They for You? - Reverse mortgages generally are available to consumers who are 62 or older, and can be used to supplement retirement income or meet health care or other financial needs. But beware -- reverse mortgages are complex loans and are secured by your home.

Settling Your Credit Card Debts - Many different kinds of services claim to help people with debt problems. Among them are 'debt settlement' companies that negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe. But there is no guarantee that debt settlement companies can persuade a credit card company to accept partial payment of a legitimate debt. (PDF file)

Shopping With Your ATM Card - Describes the new and expanded ways you can use an ATM card. Also provides safety precautions and a listing of ATM networks and affiliated shopping services by state.

Start Smart: Money Management for Teens - Teens have access to more money than ever before, thanks to allowances and gifts and, for many, income from chores, summer jobs or part-time jobs. Teens also are becoming more responsible for handling money and making decisions - for everything from small, everyday purchases to bigger-ticket items (such as a bike or a camera) to saving for college. If you consistently make smart decisions about your money, you can have more of it for what you truly need.

Taking Control of Your Finances - A handy guide geared toward young adultsófrom those still in school to just starting a career or a family. Learn the right ways to save and manage money, and how to avoid some common mistakes people make with their money. (PDF file)

Ten Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Planner - Covers credentials, costs, services, an interview checklist, and resources to contact for more information. (PDF file)

Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement - Gives practical tips to build your retirement savings and lists resources for more information. (PDF file)

What You Need to Know: New Overdraft Rules for Debit and ATM Cards - Bank account overdraft fees can be a source of unexpected costs for consumers. Understand the rules that provide additional protection when a debit card or automated teller machine (ATM) transaction causes an account to be overdrawn. It contains basic information about types and typical costs of overdraft services and defines common terms consumers may encounter in communications from their bank about overdrafts.

What You Need To Know: New Rules For Gift Cards - New Federal Reserve rules provide important protections when you purchase or use gift cards. This publication describes the types of cards that are covered under gift card rules released last month and highlights key protections, including new limits on expiration dates, requirements for clear fee disclosures, and fee restrictions. These key changes apply to gift cards sold on or after August 22, 2010.

What You Should Know About Financial Planning - Discusses the benefits of financial planning for life- changing events, such as buying a home or retirement. (PDF file)

You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft - There is a type of identity theft using the Internet called "phishing". Pronounced "fishing", thatís exactly what thieves are doing, fishing for your personal financial information. They want your account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information so they can use your financial accounts or run up bills on your credit cards. If you understand how phishing works and how to protect yourself, you can help stop this crime.

Your Credit Scores - Your credit score is a number based on the information in your credit file that rates how much of a risk you are. Learn why your credit score matters, what good and bad scores are, the elements of your FICO credit score, and how you can raise your score. (PDF file)

Your Investments - Consumer facts about investments that are not deposits and are not insured by the FDIC

Your New, Higher FDIC Insurance Coverage - Up to $250,000 of your money is now protected in FDIC-insured banks. Learn about expanded protection of certain trust and checking accounts, how to qualify for more than $250,000 at one bank, why and how to use the FDICís deposit insurance calculator, plus common misconceptions and tips for avoiding costly errors. (PDF file)

Your Rights as a Financial Planning Client - Hereís a checklist of your rights, what to expect from your financial planner, and what to do if you have a problem. (PDF file)
 

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