May 7 2014
Consumer Advisory:  3 Things to Keep Your Retirement Plan on Track

Compared to a decade ago, there are fewer older homeowners who own their homes free and clear. Older homeowners are also carrying more mortgage debt. While the share of older homeowners with a mortgage increased from 22 to 30 percent between 2001 and 2011, the median amount of their mortgage debt grew from about $43,400 to $79,000.  For many of the roughly 4.4 million retired homeowners with mortgages, making monthly mortgage payments on a fixed income on top of other monthly expenses is a hardship. You can read more in our snapshot of older consumers and mortgage debt.  We’ve got some things you can do to keep your retirement plan on track.

For entire article, click here.

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Nov 4 2013

CFPB Releases Guides for Caregivers and Fiduciaries

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released four guides for those charged with handling money on another’s behalf. The guides -- which cover powers of attorney, court-appointed guardianship, trusteeship and designated payees for government benefits -- outline responsibilities of those who handle the affairs of the millions of elderly Americans who use the assistance of a financial representative.

The guides cover how to act in another’s best interest, how to manage property and funds, how to keep funds separate and how to keep clean records. They also focus on fiduciaries’ role in spotting and preventing elder financial abuse.

Download the guides

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Sep 5 2013

Reminder: Accessing your scholarships and student loan funds

By Rohit Chopra and Patrick Campbell

Earlier this year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, another banking regulator we work closely with, fined one of the largest providers of campus debit cards. We issued this consumer advisory to all students expecting to receive scholarship and student loan proceeds onto – what appears to be – a school-endorsed debit card.

Many college students, especially those enrolled in community colleges or who live off-campus, receive scholarships, grants, and student loans that are for more than the cost of their tuition. These funds help them pay rent, get to and from school, and cover other costs, like textbooks. Many schools work with third-party financial companies to disburse these funds directly to students.

Consumers should remember the following:
 

  • You can’t be required to use a specific bank or card. There may be a financial institution that operates on your campus, but you generally can’t be required to use a specific account or card to access your student aid. If you have received a federal student loan, your school must provide a paper check or cash option.
     
  • Consider choosing an account before arriving at school. Shop around, and don’t feel limited by the banks operating ATMs on or near campus. Some financial institutions don’t charge you for using any ATMs, and some will automatically reimburse you for fees charged for using an out-of-network ATM. Many institutions also provide a mobile phone app to remotely deposit paper checks.
     
  • If your school offers it, sign up for direct deposit as soon as possible. If your school offers direct deposit, you may be able to provide the school with your account information in order to access your funds more quickly.

For the entire article, click here.