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
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!