FDIC Consumer News Spring 2014 Edition

Consumers want to make the most of their dollars for priorities ranging from everyday expenses to a comfortable retirement, but knowing how to do that can be a challenge. That’s why the latest issue of FDIC Consumer News features questions to ask plus money-saving tips and strategies to consider when it comes to banking and borrowing. The Spring 2014 edition also includes a variety of simple suggestions for safe shopping, buying and ways to pay. Here’s an overview of what is in this issue:

More ways to save at the bank: Finding money to put into savings can seem difficult, but there are some strategies that can make it easier. FDIC Consumer Newsfeatures five basic questions to ask, plus strategies and resources that can help individuals reach their savings goals.

For consumers interested in finding a free or low-cost checking account, the newsletter provides questions that may help sort through the various options. One suggestion is that individuals start by deciding what they need most from a checking account.

Mortgages can be expensive, but there are ways to save. For prospective homeowners, the newsletter discusses comparison shopping, trying to negotiate the interest rate as well as the fees, and finding ways to save on some third-party settlement services, such as title insurance. Current homeowners can save in ways such as refinancing into a new mortgage or potentially saving thousands of dollars in interest by sending in a little extra each month to pay down their mortgage faster.

The newsletter also discusses how refinancing a personal loan — including an auto loan, credit card and student loan — sometimes may save a borrower some money but also can involve pitfalls.

Tips for safe shopping, buying and ways to pay: The FDIC newsletter provides an overview of simple ways to protect against fraud and theft when shopping in person or online. And, with ongoing media attention to data breaches, in which customers’ credit or debit card information was stolen by cyber thieves who hacked into a business’s computer systems, the FDIC newsletter is reminding readers about previous tips for protecting themselves and adding some new ones.

The publication also discusses online person-to-person (“P2P”) payments, which an increasing number of consumers are turning to using their computer or smartphone, as an alternative to paying with cash or writing a check. P2P payments can be convenient, but there are potential costs and risks in areas such as the privacy of personal information.

The goal of FDIC Consumer News is to deliver timely, reliable and innovative tips and information about financial matters, free of charge.The Spring 2014 edition can be read or printed at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnspr14. To find current and past issues, visit www.fdic.gov/consumernews or request paper copies by contacting the FDIC’s Public Information Center toll-free at 1-877-275-3342, by e-mail to publicinfo@fdic.gov, or by writing to the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226.

To receive an e-mail about each new issue of the quarterly FDIC Consumer News with links to stories, go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

The FDIC encourages financial institutions, government agencies, consumer organizations, educators, the media and anyone else to help make the tips and information in FDIC Consumer News widely available. The publication may be reprinted in whole or in part without permission. Please credit FDIC Consumer News. Organizations also may link to or mention the FDIC Web site.


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