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Financial News from Consumer Reports

  • What the Heck Is PMI? Consumer Reports - 16 hours ago

    PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. If you can't put down at least 20 percent when you're buying a home, your lender will make you buy it.  "PMI exists to protect lenders—and only lenders—......

  • Early one October morning, Sheri E. Warsh, a mother of three from Highland Park, Ill., stepped out of the shower to a ringing phone. On the other end, her 18-year-old son’s college roommate deliv...

  • What Amazon's Move Into Student Loans Could Mean for Borrowers Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 6:14 PM EDT

    The news that Amazon, in partnership with Wells Fargo, has begun offering private student loans is a provocative development for the captive American student loan market now roughly 42 million st...

  • Best Luggage Stores: Online or Brick-and-Mortar? Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 2:13 PM EDT

    Most people don’t buy luggage on a whim—they buy it because they need it. Could be that their old suitcases don’t wheel as easily as they once did or that zippers are broken or the material on th...

  • There remains a perception, among many owners of Apple devices and products, that they are immune from the malware, security flaws, and viruses that often hit the competition. Sadly, that’s not t...

  • Verizon Cutting Off Customers Who Test Limits of 'Unlimited' Data Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 11:49 AM EDT

    There are apparently some Verizon Wireless customers out there who still have unlimited data, despite the carrier’s attempts to get rid of them by doing away with phone subsidies when these custo...

  • Don't Fall for the Car Warranty Scam Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 11:30 AM EDT

    If you get a call or letter saying that your new car warranty is about to expire and it offers you an “extended warranty,” use caution. Car warranty scams, which attempt to trick consumers into b...

  • How to Make Free Community College Work for You Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 10:14 AM EDT

    Free college is a hot topic in this year’s presidential election. But a number of states and cities aren’t waiting until November to find a way to make higher education more affordable. Instead, ...

  • How to Beat Jet Lag Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 7:00 AM EDT

    With the British pound plummeting and the U.S. dollar soaring, you might well be thinking of jetting off to London for a quick holiday. Good idea—except for one thing: jet lag. Nothing can ruin a...

  • How to Save Money on College Textbooks Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 3:48 PM EDT

    Like just about every other cost associated with higher education, the cost of college textbooks has been rising as well. According to a February report from the Student Public Interest Research ...

  • Best Printers for Back-to-School Families Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 1:21 PM EDT

    You know as well as I do that back-to-school season is underway (and I don’t even have kids). Besides colored pencils and spiral notebooks, every family needs a good versatile printer these days,...

  • 6 Successful Solar Power Projects and What They Cost Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 10:12 AM EDT

    Some time around the end of March, the U.S. passed the 1 million mark for solar installations, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.  Even more impressive is the fact that 90 perc...

  • Last Chance to Decide on Windows 10 Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    If you haven't yet upgraded to Windows 10, you're not alone. On July 15, Microsoft conceded to ZDNet that it will not reach its goal to have the operating system installed on 1 billion devices by...

  • Spoiler Alert: You're Wasting 1 in 4 Bags of Groceries Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 6:00 AM EDT
    Spoiler Alert: You're Wasting 1 in 4 Bags of Groceries

    Waste occurs all along the food chain—from farms to processors, from grocery stores to restaurants. The problem is so serious that, one year ago this month, the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the country’s first waste-reduction goal­—to lower the nation’s food waste by 50 percent …

  • Food Recovery Efforts That Are Making a Difference Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture’s food-waste-reduction goal is to cut food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Many food banks and food-recovery programs across the nat...

  • How Using a Grocery List and Other Strategies Can Cut Food Waste Consumer Reports - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    Dana Gunders, author of the book “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook” and “Wasted,” a 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that sparked attention to the crisis in America’s kitchens, h...

  • Samsung says it has fixed a manufacturing problem that caused some Galaxy S7 Active phones to fail in underwater conditions the phone was designed to withstand. The company says it launched an in...

  • First Zika Infection in U.S. From Local Mosquitoes Might Be in Florida Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 3:40 PM EDT

    Florida health officials announced on Tuesday, July 19, that they were investigating a case of Zika infection that might not be travel-related. If confirmed, the case, in Miami-Dade County would ...

  • 5 Top-Performing Induction Ranges Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 10:44 AM EDT

    Induction ranges offer lots of advantages over coil and smoothtop electric ranges. But the often high price of these cooking appliances had discouraged many homeowners from buying an induction ra...

  • What Is an HDR TV, and Should You Get One? Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 3:39 PM EDT

    High dynamic range, or HDR, is one of the biggest TV buzzwords you’ll come across this year. While 4K (the other big buzzword right now) is about adding more pixels, HDR is about creating better,...

  • How Consumer Reports Tests Cars Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 12:56 PM EDT

    Consumer Reports operates the largest and most sophisticated independent automobile testing center devoted to the consumer interest anywhere in the world. Situated on 327 acres in rural Connectic...

  • Should You Worry About Eye Floaters? Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 10:23 AM EDT

    If you notice small specks drifting across your field of vision—known as eye floaters—you might be concerned. Most of the time, these tiny, shadowy dots and squiggly strands are harmless, but the...

  • Is Vaping Introducing a Whole New Generation to Nicotine? Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 12:34 AM EDT

    A debate is raging between e-cig proponents who say that the devices merely provide an alternative to people who already smoke and are trying to quit, and critics who worry that vaping mainly att...

  • CDC Investigating Worrisome Zika Case Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 6:13 PM EDT

    An elderly Utah resident who recently died after contracting Zika during a trip abroad appears to have passed the virus to a caregiver. The caregiver did not travel to a Zika-affected area or hav...

  • How Long Do Antibiotics Last? Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 9:27 AM EDT

    Your head aches; your nose is stuffy; and your throat is raw. Rummaging around in the medicine cabinet for something to help you feel better, you come across a leftover prescription and wonder: '...

  • Better-Looking Solar Solutions on the Horizon Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 3:34 AM EDT

    For the Shingle Set Love the idea of going solar but hate the look of those shiny black boxes on the roof? New solar cells designed to look and perform like shingles and roof tiles offer aesthet...

  • How Utilities Are Fighting Back on Solar Power Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 12:01 AM EDT

    In February the leasing giant SolarCity closed its operations in Nevada, laying off more than 550 employees there. A couple of months earlier, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, which regula...

  • It's Time to Pay Your College Tuition Bill Consumer Reports - Sun, Jul 17, 2016 7:00 AM EDT

    If you’re headed to college this fall, the first day of school may seem far off. But there’s an important task coming up on your to-do list: Paying your tuition bill. The fall semester tuition de...

  • Why You Should Be Wary of Some User Reviews Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 4:01 PM EDT

    If you're a fan of Lord of the Rings, you may very well know about the Federal Trade Commission's settlement this week over Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, a video game loosely based on the trilo...

  • Guide to the Volkswagen Emissions Recall Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 2:57 PM EDT

    Volkswagen has admitted to circumventing the emissions control system in about 550,000 vehicles sold in the United States since 2008 with the 2.0-liter diesel engine. As many as 11 million vehicl...

  • Are Roku TVs Any Good? Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 10:27 AM EDT

    We're big fans of Roku's streaming platform and Roku's streaming media players, which top our streaming player Ratings. But you may be wondering what we think of Roku TVs, given the growing numbe...

  • Best Luggage Brands: Consumer Reports Survey Consumer Reports - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 9:19 AM EDT

    It’s summertime and for many of us, that means there could be some traveling in the weeks ahead. While carrying bags and walking through busy airports and train terminals can be a hassle, one way...

  • Consumers have long complained about ticket fees that are seemingly out-of-proportion to the cost of the seat itself. In February, Ticketmaster settled a long-standing class-action lawsuit, filed...

  • 6 Products on Deep Discount in July Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 4:58 PM EDT

    Consumer Reports analysts track prices year-round, so we can tell you when products are on deep discount, month by month. July is the hottest month of the year, and happily, it's also when you'll...

  • 5 Surprising Ways You Could Get an E. Coli Infection From Flour Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 2:28 PM EDT

    Raw cookie dough aficionados and those who like to lick cake-batter-covered beaters know they shouldn’t indulge because raw eggs can give you a nasty case of food poisoning. But now there’s anoth...

  • 5 Ways to Stop Senior Citizen Scams Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 12:48 PM EDT

    Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, launched 10 years ago by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the United Nations. It's purpose: To remind the world of the nee...

  • Synthetic Marijuana Known as K2 Linked to 33 Overdoses in Brooklyn Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 12:48 PM EDT

    We’ve written in the past about the dangers of using illegal synthetic marijuana, with hospital officials reporting a spike in hospitalizations related to the drug in recent years. Now, officials...

  • How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping Consumer Reports - Wed, Jul 13, 2016 10:00 AM EDT

    While your kids may too busy enjoying their summer to start thinking about returning to the classroom, retailers have already kicked off back-to-school season. Back-to-school shopping is the seco...

  • House To Vote On Bill That Blocks Vermont's GMO Labeling Law Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 2:13 PM EDT

    The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday or Friday on a bill passed last week by the Senate that would nullify Vermont’s genetically modified organisms labeling law, which went i...

  • New Risk With Common PPI Heartburn Drugs Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 2:13 PM EDT

    Millions of Americans use Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, or other drugs from a group of medications known as proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to treat frequent heartburn. For some people, the drugs ...

  • Visiting Health Clinics Leads People to Spend More Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 12:31 PM EDT

    If you’ve visited a retail health clinic or an urgent care center, you may have found that it’s easier and cheaper to go there than to visit your primary care physician. Many others have figured ...

  • Amazon, Walmart Face Off in Best TV Deals Showdown Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 10:27 AM EDT

    Once again, Amazon Prime Day is upon us, and once again Walmart isn't letting the online retailer claim the day as its own, launching its own week of summer sales. So which retailer can claim to ...

  • How to Install a Solar System and Not Get Burned Consumer Reports - Tue, Jul 12, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    Maybe you’ve seen ads for solar deals or you’ve seen solar panels pop up on rooftops around the neighborhood. You may be wondering, is a solar system right for me? Can it save me money? According...

  • Best Laptops for Students Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 8:15 PM EDT

    When it comes to choosing laptops for students, children and parents don't always see eye-to-eye. Ask an undergrad what model to buy and chances are it will have a fancy logo on it—along with a p...

  • 4 Things Parents Should Know About Pokemon GO Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 6:09 PM EDT

    Since the Pokémon GO mobile game hit phones last week, parents around the country have been struck by the sight of players from tweens to millennials to 50-year-olds roaming parks, church steps, ...

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Pros and Cons Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 3:01 PM EDT

    Love everything about your car except its infotainment system? There’s an app for that. Apple’s CarPlay (shown above) and Google’s Android Auto (shown below) systems bring the familiar functional...

  • New Proposal Would Make Funeral Homes List Prices Like Restaurants Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 1:55 PM EDT

    When a loved one dies, the last thing you’ll want to do is take on the task of comparing the costs for products and services offered by funeral homes. And you certainly don’t want to be talked in...

  • 4K Blu-ray Players Promise Top Picture Quality Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 11:51 AM EDT

    Streaming video services such as Amazon and Netflix are great, but the picture quality you receive is highly dependent on your broadband connection, how much traffic is running on the network, an...

  • Beware of Tech Support Scams Online Consumer Reports - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    The Federal Trade Commission and Florida attorney general have shut down a major computer tech scam that they said bilked computer users out of millions of dollars by making them believe that the...

  • Don't Be Fooled by High-Megapixel Cameras Consumer Reports - Sun, Jul 10, 2016 5:23 PM EDT

    Three weeks ago, Hasselblad unveiled a new mirrorless medium-format camera called the X1D. Given the price (nearly $9,000—for the body alone)‚ it's not a purchase the average consumer will likely...

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