FTC takes a stand against illegal robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has weighed in: telephone carriers can do more to stop robocalls! Over 200 million consumers have signed up for the federal Do Not Call list, but many of them continue to be disturbed by incessant robocalls. That’s why we’re elated that the FTC is taking a stand. In comments submitted to […]

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Posted by Maureen Mahoney on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 | 5 Comments »

Thinking About a Reverse Mortgage? Californians Get New Protections in 2015

Wondering if a reverse mortgage is right for you?  Reverse mortgages are home loans that allow eligible homeowners, 62 years of age or older, to tap into their home equity. While that friendly reverse mortgage salesperson can be helpful, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says you should not rely only on advice you get […]

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Posted by Norma Garcia on Friday, January 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »

Good news for victims of “Rachel from Cardholder Services” scam

How many times have you picked up the phone, only to find “Rachel from Cardholder Services” on the other end? We bet you’ve spoken to her more times than you’d like to admit. Rachel is part of a scam to steal your money. Her recorded voice offers to lower your credit card interest rates – […]

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Posted by Maureen Mahoney on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Think you can’t afford health insurance? Think again.

Before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, only a fraction of Californians could get free or low-cost health insurance through Medi-Cal. Now, almost all adults whose incomes are at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $16,000 for a single adult, or $33,000 for family of four) have access to affordable care. […]

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Posted by Geraldine Slevin on Sunday, January 18th, 2015 | No Comments »

Not having insurance will cost you – literally!

Going without insurance means taking a gamble on your health – hoping that you won’t get sick or get in an accident and possibly face sky-high medical bills. But even if you don’t get sick, you’ll pay for not having coverage. If you go without coverage for more than 3 months in a row (and […]

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Posted by Geraldine Slevin on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 | Comments Off

Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Buy the Right Mortgage Too

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released some new online tools to help you shop for a mortgage.  The home buying process can be daunting, with so many decisions to make as you move through unfamiliar and high-dollar territory.  That may explain why a new CFPB investigation found that nearly half of all home buyers […]

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Posted by Norma Garcia on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 | Comments Off

Credit report error shows $180k debt: learn more about credit report errors and how to fix them in new video from Consumer Reports

Consumers know that credit reports play a major role in their ability to get a loan, job, or apartment. Potential lenders and employers, among others, may look at it when considering applications. But a shocking number of credit reports contain errors – and some can really wreak havoc on your finances. To learn more, check […]

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Posted by Maureen Mahoney on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 | Comments Off

How medical debt happens – and what you can do to avoid it

This open enrollment season, Consumers Union is working to give consumers the tools they need to sign up for a health insurance plan that suits their needs. Countless consumers have told us that their plan didn’t cover their bills when they needed it most – causing them to fall into medical debt. According to a […]

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Posted by Maureen Mahoney on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Consumers Union urges California commission to be on the lookout for oil price manipulation

California Energy Commission Petroleum Market Advisory Committee 1516 Ninth Street Sacramento, California 95814 Re:  Request to closely monitor oil markets in January 2015 Dear Chairman Weisenmiller, Prof. Sweeney and other Advisory Committee members: Consumers Union (CU), the policy arm of Consumer Reports, encourages the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee to closely review data for signs of […]

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Posted by Shannon Baker-Branstetter on Monday, December 15th, 2014 | Comments Off

Metal Matters

When you’re choosing between health plans, don’t just look at the premium. We previously wrote about all the elements of a plan that contribute to its total cost. Plans in the individual market are divided into metal tiers like the Olympic medals, from bronze up to platinum. For consumers at certain income levels, the plan’s […]

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Posted by Geraldine Slevin on Monday, December 15th, 2014 | Comments Off

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