The FDIC just published its Winter 2013/2014 Consumer News which provides advice on various banking topics. Most of the tips are probably well-known to those who are financially savvy. However, there are some useful reminders of federal regulations and protections. I've included a few excerpts that I found most useful.
Credit Card Tips
The FDIC offers several credit card tips in choosing and using them. Most relevant to the FDIC is what should be done when you’re having problems resolving a credit card dispute with a credit card issuer. Here’s an excerpt from the FDIC article:
"If you're having trouble resolving a complaint with the credit card issuer you can consider taking your concerns to the institution's federal regulator," pointed out DCP Director Mark Pearce. "Doing so not only can assist a consumer with a legitimate complaint, but it also provides the regulator with important information on consumer concerns and trends in general."
The FDIC and other banking regulators can't settle contract disputes between a bank and a consumer, but they often can assist consumers in other ways, such as helping people understand confusing information, contacting the issuer and initiating a formal review process, and/or taking supervisory actions if the institution is in violation of a law or regulation. To find the regulator for an FDIC-insured institution, you can use our online directory at http://research.fdic.gov/bankfind or call the FDIC toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
10 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information and Your Money
Most of these 10 ways are well known if you regularly follow banking news. Here’s one good reminder from the FDIC article:
8. Periodically review your credit reports to make sure someone hasn't obtained a credit card or a loan in your name. Ask for a free copy from each of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies (also known as credit bureaus) because their reports may differ, but spread out the requests during the year. For more information and to order a report, go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
Money and Banking Tips for the Tax Season
Here’s one tip from this FDIC article that may help some:
low-income, disabled, elderly and non-English speaking taxpayers can receive free tax-preparation assistance by trained, certified volunteers through the IRS-coordinated Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. For details, start at www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-Programs.
Test Your Deposit Insurance IQ
If you’re familiar with the FDIC rules, the last three questions of this quiz should provide at least a little challenge. Can you answer #7 ?
7. You have three different joint accounts at the same bank — one for $250,000 with your spouse, another for $250,000 with your sister, and a third for $250,000 with your brother. Because you own each account with a different person, each account qualifies for $250,000 of insurance. True or False?
The FDIC winter consumer news also has some tips on avoiding debt problems with credit cards and some tips on home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you find something interesting, please leave a comment.