As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

February 2012

Are You Ready For Higher Cell Phone Bills?

by Luke Landes

As more consumers in the United States are jumping on the smartphone and tablet bandwagon — personally, I contribute to this mess with one of the latest phones with Android software as well as a first-generation iPad — there’s less room in the limited airwaves for customers’ needs to access the internet and occasionally make […]

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Your Dream Wedding: When to Save, When to Splurge

by Guest Author
The wedding bride

This is a guest article by Jennifer Calonia, Junior Editor at GoBankingRates. In the article, the author helps couples in search of their dream wedding decide which expenses are worth paying more money for. The pressure to plan a perfectly executed wedding is a monumental undertaking, especially for those lacking a savings fund or a […]

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Church Health Insurance: Effective in the Amish Community

by Luke Landes
Horse and buggy

The Amish community is exempt from the health insurance mandate that is now federal law. Members of this community rely on each other for taking care of their health, rather than relying on insurance companies. It’s an interesting approach to healthcare, and it is effective for communities where people rarely leave or enter. I visited […]

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Podcast 148: Capital One Merger With ING Direct

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch talks to John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. They talk about the benefits and drawbacks of Capital One merging with ING Direct USA, and how the Federal Reserve Bank is treating this merger. Consumerism Commentary Podcast CapitalOne Merger With ING Direct: […]

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Streamline Regulations

by Luke Landes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking suggestions from the public about how the government organization can streamline the variety of regulatory responsibilities they’ve inherited from other oversight groups. leave your comments with the CFPB here. The industry and much of the public are never fans of over-regulation, and the CFPB intends to reduce regulations […]

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Do Retailers Know Too Much About Shoppers?

by Luke Landes

It’s no surprise that retailers track your purchases. It’s obvious at the grocery store, particularly if you sign up for the supermarket’s loyalty discount program. If you provide your address, you’ll receive coupons and ads tailored specifically to your buying habits. My local supermarket allows customers to sign up anonymously; the coupons are offered right […]

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Credit Card Debt Consolidation

by Luke Landes
Credit card debt consolidation

According to the Federal Reserve’s research published last week, overall American credit card debt increased at an annual rate of 7.5 percent during the final quarter of last year. This could mean that consumers are feeling more confident about the economy and are willing to take the risk that they will have money in the future […]

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Simmons Bank Visa Platinum Card Review

by Joe Taylor Jr.

Although balance transfer offers have bounced back onto the market in recent months, consolidation among major lenders means you’ve got fewer banks willing to lure your business with low teaser rates. Credit card issuers reserve their very best deals for first-time customers. If you earned a high credit score by proving you’re capable of paying […]

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Federal Reserve Approves Capital One’s Acquisition of ING Direct

by Luke Landes
ING Direct

After several delays, the Federal Reserve Board has approved Capital One’s request to purchase ING Direct and ShareBuilder. This deal has been in the works for a while. When ING Direct’s parent company was bailed out, the Dutch government gave the condition that it must divest its business in the United States. Several buyers courted […]

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Bank Switch Kit and Checklist

by Luke Landes
Broken piggy bank

With Wells Fargo changing their policies to be less consumer-oriented this week, I’ve received several questions about the logistics switching banks. In previous decades, closing your account at one bank and opening an account at another was a simple process. All that was required was to walk into one branch, ask to close your account, […]

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