FDIC insured

The Role of the FDIC for Today’s Consumers

The FDIC signs displayed at banking locations carry the messages: “Each depositor insured to at least $250,000”1 and “Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.” What does that mean, and what does the FDIC do?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency of the United States government that provides insurance to protect the money you deposit into checking, savings and other bank accounts in the event of a bank failure. We don’t hear much about U.S. bank failures these days, but when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933, there was no insurance coverage for bank deposits and consumers ran the risk of losing their money.

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Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act — What It Means To You

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law created to promote accuracy, fairness and privacy of personal information gathered by credit reporting agencies (CRAs). The FCRA regulates the use of personal information by private businesses. Its purpose is to ensure that CRAs follow “reasonable procedures” to protect the confidentiality, accuracy and relevance of consumer credit information.


The formation of the FCRA

Retail Credit Co. was the first major CRA that is furnished by creditors and started in 1899.1 The agency purchased a number of smaller CRAs over time and began to sell consumer credit reports to insurers and employers. At the time, there were no laws governing how CRAs operated. By the 1960s, significant controversy had developed around their practices. Consumers were not allowed to see what was in their reports, which often contained outdated or inaccurate information.

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Your credit score and housing

Planning to Rent a House or Apartment? Check Your Credit Report First

Your credit score can affect your life in ways you may not have considered. Beyond its impact on your ability to get a loan or a mortgage, your credit score can be a determining factor in renting a house or apartment. Whereas landlords used to rely on their instincts when deciding whether or not to rent to you, online tenant screening programs have now made it easy and affordable to conduct tenant background checks that generally include a credit report. Primarily they are looking for negative entries that show you may not be a responsible tenant in terms of keeping up with monthly payments, such as rent. They will also check to ensure that the name, current address and employer listed on your rental application match what is on your credit report.

If you want to make a good impression on a potential landlord, you should start by getting your credit report in order.

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Today’s Credit – A Whole New Ball Game

The CARD Act signed by President Obama in 2009, was designed to protect consumers from unexpected increases in interest rates, decreases in credit lines, and other changes in the services offered by credit card issuers.

Though our economy continues to show signs of improvement, the bottom line is that, because of the recent recession, slower than expected recovery and the resulting changes in bank policies and government legislation, the credit landscape has changed forever. Gone are the days of “easy credit” where almost anyone could qualify for a credit line for almost anything. Credit issuers now operate by an entirely new set of rules.

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