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Resources for Consumer Awareness, Part 2

FYL 8.25.16

Last week, we talked about some consumer resources that can help you find reviews

for products, services and service providers. This week, let’s take a look at some

resources that allow you to check out complaints against businesses, get free tools

to help improve your financial decision-making skills, and find valuable resources to

help you through various financial tough spots.

1. The Better Business Bureau: The BBB has spent the past 100 years reporting on

businesses all over the country. They collect information and complaints for

nonprofit and for-profit companies alike. In addition to using the site to search for a

company to view its complaints and resolutions before doing business with them,

you can also monitor the site’s blog to get the latest information about various

scams, including those on Craigslist and on other websites.

2. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: Finance is a complicated topic. It spans

the world of investing, saving, debt, insurance, retirement planning, estate planning

and so on. Many people don’t even try to learn about finance on their own, relying

instead on an advisor to make decisions for them. No matter how overwhelming you

find finance, however, you should still try to understand the basics so that you can

act as your own advocate. One way to do that, in addition to reading blogs like this

one, is to check out the resources found on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

(CFPB) website. The CFPB was created after the 2008 recession in part as a means

to help consumers gain more control over their finances.

3. Consumer Financial Resources Guide: Our last resource isn’t a website but a

booklet that you can order or print. It’s called the Consumer Financial Resources

Guide and was created by the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. The

goal of this guide is to create a comprehensive list of resources for consumers.

Inside you can find phone numbers and web addresses for organizations that can

help you avoid home foreclosure, find home-buying programs, build your credit and

more.

This is by no means a full list of all the resources out there to help consumers. Do

you have a favorite source—either in print or on the web—that we didn’t mention?

Share it below!

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