Financial Educators

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Saving & Shopping

You know it’s important to save money, but it’s not always easy to stash any spare cash. Spending money wisely usually takes skill, time, and experience. This information can help you shop smart, save money, and learn how to spot, stop and avoid scams.

It’s never too early — or too late — to save

Tips and resources to help you reach your savings goals.

Setting Out on Your Own

Here’s how to create a basic budget.

Shopping Tips

There’s no shortage of ads from merchants who want your business; here’s how to decide if the deal is for real.

"Free" Trial Offers?

Some companies use “free” trial offers as a lure, but don’t make their cancellation policies obvious. The result? You could end up paying for a product every month, whether you like it or not.

Using Money Transfer Services

When and how to use a money transfer service safely.

Scam Alerts

Crooks defraud millions of people every year. Get practical, timely and topical tips on how to spot, stop and report them.

Credit & Debt

Your credit report says a lot about you, and businesses use the information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a place to live. Learn how to order copies of your free annual credit report, your rights and responsibilities when using credit, and options for dealing with debt.

Free Credit Reports

How, why, and when to order copies of your free annual credit report.

Using a Credit Card

It helps to know your rights and responsibilities when you use a credit card.

Coping with Debt

When it comes to dealing with debt, you have options. Find out what you can do, and get tips for avoiding scams.

Advance-Fee Loans

Some advance-fee loan and credit card offers have tell-tale signs that can help you avoid getting ripped off.

Caution: Car Title Loans Can Leave You Stranded

What to know if you're considering a car title loan.

Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself

Find out how you can improve your credit and get free or low-cost help.

Pension Advances: Not So Fast

If you’re looking for a way to generate cash to make ends meet, a pension advance may pique your interest. But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Housing

Your home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, and may be one of your most valuable assets. Learn how to comparison shop for a mortgage, what to do if you can’t make your payments, and what to consider if you’re thinking about tapping into your home equity.

Shopping for a Mortgage

Shopping and negotiating for a home loan or mortgage — as you do for other major purchases — may save you thousands of dollars.

When Paying the Mortgage is a Struggle

If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, all is not lost. There is legitimate help to help you save your home.

Home Equity Loans and Credit Lines

Is a home equity loan or line of credit right for you? Read about abusive lending practices, how to avoid them, and how to save your home.

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages let you cash in on the equity in your home: these mortgages can have serious implications.

Work & School

Whether you’re looking for a job, a business to run, or continuing your education, this information can help you save time and money, and avoid potential rip-offs.

Dealing with Job Loss

Tips to help you get back on your feet professionally and financially after losing a job.

Job Scams

Here’s how to tell whether a job lead may be a scam.

Employment Background Checks

Your application for a job means an employer can check your credit report. Here are some things to know.

Work-at-Home Businesses

Many work-at-home opportunities are promoted by scam artists. If you pay in, it’s likely that you will spend more than you can earn.

Business Opportunity Scams

If you’re looking for a way to earn extra money, you may investigate a home-based business opportunity. Here’s how to tell the legitimate ones from the scams.

Student Loans

Some companies use deceptive claims or business practices to get your student loan business.

Automobiles

Owning a car can be an expensive proposition. Learn how to comparison shop, negotiate the best deal, what to do if you can’t make your payments, and how to avoid auto repair rip-offs.

Buying a New Car

Get tips about pricing terms, financing options, trade-ins, and service contracts.

Buying a Used Car

The Buyers Guide is required on all used cars sold by dealers. Read about payment options, private sales, warranties, service contracts and spoken promises.

Understanding Vehicle Financing

Before you lease or financing a new or used vehicle, learn more about your options and what to expect at the dealership.

Vehicle Repossession

Here’s “must know” information about when and how your car can be repossessed.

Auto Repair Basics

Take the scare out of auto repair with these tips about how your vehicle works, how to identify common problems, and how to select a good mechanic.

Resources for More Information

Consumer.gov

Consumer protection basics in a clear, direct style.

MyMoney.gov

Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission

Consumer’s Guide to Credit Cards

Federal Reserve Board

Making Home Affordable Program

The President’s Plan to Help Homeowners

Personal Finance

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension System

HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies

U.S. Housing and Urban Development

National Association of Attorneys General

Your State Attorney General

Index of State and Local Consumer Agencies

Your Local Consumer Protection Agency

Choose to Save

American Savings Education Council

America Saves

Consumer Federation of America

Jump$tart Clearinghouse

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

Spread the Word

Shareable Tips

Learn how to shop smart, save money, and spot, stop and avoid scams: http://go.usa.gov/jTZ4

Learn how to get your free annual credit report, your rights when using credit, and options for dealing with debt: http://go.usa.gov/jTZz

Learn how to comparison shop for a mortgage, what to do if you can’t make your payments: http://go.usa.gov/jTBC

Owning a car can be expensive. Learn how to comparison shop, negotiate the best deal, and avoid auto repair rip-offs: http://go.usa.gov/jTBR

Audio Tips

Advance-Fee Loans (1:00)

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Work at Home Scams (1:00)

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Business Opportunities: Ask Some Questions (1:00)

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