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  • Consumers score the right to freeze credit. In a major reversal, TransUnion, one of the Big Three credit bureaus, says it will allow individuals in all 50 states to freeze their credit histories. The service, which goes into effect Oct. 15, is a big
  • Soaring fees fatten banks' bottom line. News that Bank of America was jacking up its ATM fee for noncustomers to $3 from $2 prompted the usual muttering about money-grubbing financial institutions that nickel-and-dime people to death. But BofA's reaching deeper into noncustomers' pockets
  • Strapped borrowers urged to act. Borrowers at risk of falling behind on their mortgages should engage their lenders early to try to avoid major problems, three top government officials said yesterday. Many homeowners encountering financial problems duck calls from their
  • Cozy campus bank card deal. When The University of Minnesota's 52,000 students arrived in early September, they received new "U Cards," a multi-purpose ID that doubles as a library and security card. But the new IDs also have debit and ATM
  • Why are credit card rates still out of control?. It has been more than six months since Congress began looking into what Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called the “unfair or abusive” practices of the credit card industry. In March, bank executives were called to
  • TransUnion to offer credit freeze in all states. TransUnion, one of the three major consumer credit reporting bureaus, said Tuesday that starting next month it will allow consumers to freeze and thaw their credit files as a means to prevent identity theft. A
  • Hanging up on phone bills. Monthly telephone bills have long been the way of the world. A promising Palo Alto, Calif., start-up called Ooma hopes to make them a thing of the past. Ooma turns the traditional phone model on
  • GAO: No direction in digital transition. A congressional investigator warned a Senate panel Wednesday that there is no lead agency responsible for helping the nation navigate the transition to digital TV broadcasting. "It is pretty clear to us that there is
  • Start-ups promise lower-cost phone calls. Nationwide calling from your regular home phone is getting closer to being free. Two new companies are trying to attract the average consumer to Internet telephony by bypassing the local phone and cable TV giants
  • House OKs plan to stem mortgage concerns. The House on Tuesday approved a plan to expand federal backing of mortgages in hopes of helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The bill, which passed the House, 348-72, would allow the Federal Housing Administration, which
  • Bold cut means savings for consumers. The Federal Reserve's unanimous decision to slash a key interest rate Tuesday is a dramatic statement that the central bank will do whatever it takes to prevent turmoil in the financial markets and a steep
  • Can consumers cash in on Fed rate cut?. Mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card rates, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts can all be influenced by changes in short-term interest rates set by the Federal Reserve. But don't
  • In credit crunch, location matters. You've heard about how the credit crunch has made it harder for many types of buyers to afford a home or qualify for a mortgage. First-time buyers. Those moving up to larger homes. Buyers with
  • Reusable bags to save money, environment. When Katrina Gamble goes grocery shopping, she brings her list and her bags — a pair of sturdy canvas bags she bought a few months ago for $4.99 at her local grocery store. "It works just as
  • Investors shun managed mutual funds. Mutual fund investors are voting with their dollars — and actively managed U.S. stock funds are losing by a landslide. Normally, investors pour money into U.S. stock funds when the stock market rallies. The
  • Prepaying mortgage usually smart. Much attention is being paid to homeowners who can't afford their mortgage payment. But what if your bill is manageable? Or your interest rate hasn't moved upward yet? Should you prepay some of your mortgage?
  • 'Sale by owner' comes with risks, rewards. On a lark last spring, Ronald Grant decided to "list" his South Pasadena house for sale on the popular real estate valuation website Zillow.com. Zillow estimated his home's worth at $1.4 million. But Grant, who
  • CDs, for a return guarantee. Sometimes boring is beautiful. With the stock market whipping investors along gut-wrenching swings of 200 points or more in a day, the steady-as-she-goes FDIC-insured certificate of deposit has lately become an attractive shelter. For Lisa Bend,
  • Getting it right with student loans. The idea of politicians tinkering with billions of dollars in the student loan program can make anyone a bit wary. But this time they got it right, with students coming out the winner in legislation
  • Cards that give back after cars fuel up. Signing up to get rebates for gasoline purchases has become popular. But there are caveats. Forget the quest for airline miles. Today's hot credit card perk is at the gas pump. Drivers can get 3% or

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