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Military Consumer, your tool for financial readiness

If you’re in the military, your financial decisions can have long-term effects on your family life, security clearance, and mission readiness. In fact, the Department of Defense (DoD) has said that financial readiness is a critical part of the force’s mission readiness. It makes sense: when you know how to manage your money – and how to spot a rip-off – you’re more financially solid. And that helps keep you mission-ready.

Surviving a flood — Dealing with the aftermath

Once the floodwaters have receded, it’s time to take stock and develop a recovery plan. It can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

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Homes & Mortgages

Efficient bulbs light the way

When’s the last time you spent your commute in a horse-drawn carriage? Or calculated a bill on an abacus? This Earth Day, we can reflect on another old-tech consumer item that’s falling out of use: old-fashioned, low-efficiency, incandescent light bulbs. New LED and CFL bulbs last much longer and use less energy – which saves you money on your monthly bill.

Want a one-minute refresher about the Lighting Facts label? Here’s our video.

Video about lumens

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Homes & Mortgages

Financial literacy for every generation

April is Financial Literacy Month. And whether you’re a young adult or someone a bit older, the FTC has a library of free consumer materials to help you make the most of your money and avoid costly scams.

The FTC’s best of 2015

Here at the FTC, we spend most of our time working to protect your consumer rights and promote fair competition among companies. We conduct investigations, bring cases, give people tips and advice, help businesses comply with the law, and advocate for consumer-friendly policies around the world.

Every once in a while, we take a moment to measure our impact and consider what we’ve accomplished. That lets us explain our approach to people and companies that want to know, and helps us plan for the future.

In that spirit, today we released the FTC’s Annual Highlights for 2015.

Image of FTC's Annual highlights

Celebrating Women’s History Month at the FTC

The consumer movement, trust-busting, the women’s movement, and the work of the FTC have traveled parallel (and often intersecting) paths. Women’s History Month offers us a chance to consider the contribution women have made to the mission of the FTC and the unprecedented moment in women’s history we’re witnessing at the FTC today.

No debt relief for mortgages and student loans

If you feel in over your head with debt, a company’s promise to lower your mortgage or student loan payment might seem like a lifeline. Unfortunately, dishonest companies promising debt relief can make a bad situation worse.

Today the FTC announced it filed charges against Good EBusiness for debt relief schemes that targeted people struggling to pay off mortgages and student loans. People paid thousands of dollars in fees, the FTC alleges, only to find themselves out the money with no relief in sight.

Oh no, it's that time again!

Put the long winter months to good use by getting your financial house in order for the rest of the year. A great place to start is to review your credit report, which can affect your ability to shop for a car or a home, or even apply for a job. It can also help you spot errors and prevent identity theft.

Lucky for you, we have a short video explaining just how to go about getting your free annual credit report.

Free Credit Report video

And then a light bulb went off in your head

The days are suddenly getting shorter and you want to add some brightness without spinning the electricity meter like a dreidel.  But you haven’t bought light bulbs in a very long time and the light bulb aisle at the store seems, well, different.

As it turns out, things have changed. Shopping for light bulbs isn’t what you’re used to, and might not feel as simple. The good news is that bulbs are more efficient than ever.  And, when it comes to brightness, it’s not about wattage anymore – it’s about “lumens.” But the other good news? Here’s a quick video to, ahem, shine a light on shopping for the right light bulbs for you.

Light bulb video

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Homes & Mortgages

House alarms can’t stop scammers

We moved into our house and immediately installed an alarm system to keep us safe from the bad guys. But even the best house alarms can’t stop everything – like a scammer walking through your front door.

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