consumers

Is Medical Debt Highly Unhealthy for Your Credit Score?

Posted on 05/21/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAre consumers’ credit scores unfairly dinged by medical debt? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau thinks so. The agency released a new report that says unpaid medical debt sent to collections – and appearing on credit reports – can overly penalize consumers. Credit scores, generated by information in credit reports, are three-digit numbers that try to predict a consumer’s likelihood of paying bills. The higher the number, the better. Businesses use scores to decide whether to extend credit and at what interest …

What Health Apps Tell Outsiders About You

Posted on 05/9/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthHundreds of health applications these days can track our weight, steps, caloric intake, blood pressure — and even our friends’ workouts at the gym. And those diagnosed with an ailment can go online to get answers to health questions or share their stories with others suffering from the same illness. Sure, this can be useful for consumers seeking to take control of their health. These new outlets, however, raise other questions: Who else is looking at our medical information? And …

Regulators Fine Bank for Overzealous Credit Protection

Posted on 04/15/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsBank of America is the latest major financial institution ordered to refund millions of dollars to consumers who were billed for credit card-related products they never ordered – and likely didn’t even need. Indeed, the credit and identity-theft protections sold by the North Carolina-based bank are things that people can do on their own for little or no money, consumer advocates say. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered the bank last week to return $727 million to nearly 3 million …

Payday Loan Fees Often Exceed the Amount Borrowed

Posted on 03/25/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Money & SavingsIf you need more evidence that payday loans can be a debt trap, look no further than today’s report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency found that 4 out of 5 payday loans are renewed or rolled over within two weeks after the end of their term. In half of these cases, the borrower renews the loan at least 10 times in a row. And repeat borrowing may be more expensive than many borrowers may realize. Fees in …

10 Least Expensive Insurance Markets

Posted on 02/14/2014 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer, produced in collaboration with NPR People in much of Minnesota, northwestern Pennsylvania and Tucson, Ariz., are getting the best bargains from the health care law’s new insurance marketplaces: premiums half the price or less than what insurers in the country’s most expensive places are charging. The 10 regions with the lowest premiums in the nation also include Salt Lake City, all of Hawaii and eastern Tennessee. This ranking is based on the …

Give Today’s Retirees a ‘D’ — for Debt

Posted on 01/22/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsWhat’s quickly eating up a growing share of retirees’ money these days? Not health care, as you might expect, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. Over the past 20 years, a greater percentage of older Americans’ dollars has gone to servicing debt, particularly mortgage and home equity loans, the “free market” think tank says. It used government data to compare the spending habits of today’s retirees with those of their predecessors, finding, for instance, that 20 …