payday loans

14 Money Mistakes to Avoid in 2014

As we start 2014, let's look at 14 areas where people are most likely to make expensive money mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.

4 Tips to Avoid the Payday-Loan Trap

This week JPMorgan Chase announced protections against payday lenders. But big banks can't stop the cycle of devastation payday loans can cause. Only you can, and here's how.

4 Financial Products to Avoid (If You Can Help It)

The financial industry is always pushing one product or another with claims it will make money management easier, save you cash, make you safer. But in some cases, the hype hides a less helpful, more expensive reality.

Money Scams: How to Spot a Fake Debt Collector

Getting a call from a debt collection agency is bad enough. Getting a call from a phony debt collector trying to scam you out of money you don't owe can be even worse. The scammers are out there: Here's what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim.

Debtors' Prison Is Back, and Just as Cruel as Ever

To most of us, "debtors' prison" may sound like something straight out of a Dickens novel. But across the country today, predatory lenders are using a legal loophole to manipulate courts into jailing poor citizens who legitimately cannot pay what they owe.

Would You Take a Payday Loan from Octomom?

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman has taken on some fairly sleazy jobs to support her super-sized family: reality TV star, stripper, porn actress. But this may be a new low. She's out to become America's most fecund financial adviser, shilling for a payday lending company called OctoLoan.

BBB Reveals America's Most Griped-About Businesses

American consumers are getting savvier, and happier. We consulted the BBB far more often in 2011 than we did the year before, and lodged fewer complaints. But there were still plenty of gripes, and the worst offenders may not surprise you.

Ex-Google Exec Finds a New Way to Do Payday Lending

Google's ex-CIO has moved from the world of Web searches to the world of high-interest, short-term lending. He says ZestCash.com offers an innovative way to help the poorest borrowers avoid financial emergencies. But is this just a slick veneer putting a shine on the classic payday lending business?

Terror for Adults: Check Out These 5 Scary Numbers

Boo! It's the season of ghosts and goblins, when we like to scare ourselves and each other. But while Halloween frights are generally lighthearted and short-lived, there are some truly scary facts out there regarding our finances -- ones we'd do well to know about and beware of.

More Southerners Are Off the Banking Grid

More people in Southeast don't have bank accounts than in any other part of the country. The state of Mississippi leads the country with more than 16% of households using cash-and-carry for all their transactions. That's a situation that can keep families from climbing the ladder of success.

Cash-Strapped Americans Can't Break Overdraft Habit

Overdraft fees are like a movie monster that just won't die. No amount of public outrage or regulation can slay the beast. But the banks aren't the only ones casting overdrafts in financial sequels: Truth is, consumers keep breathing life into the overdraft dragon.

The Trouble with Online Payday Loans

If you're strapped for cash and need money quickly, an online payday loan can be tempting. But these high-interest loans can lead to financial trouble. Here are some tips on selecting a provider, as well as some alternatives to payday loans.

Holly Petraeus, Servicemembers' Financial Advocate

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is there to guard all of us being taken advantage of financially. Turns out, one group that needs extra protection in that arena: those who protect our whole nation -- U.S. service members and their families. And Holly Petraeus is going to make sure they get it.

Predatory Lenders Put U.S. Soldiers in the Crosshairs

Members of America's military face threats around the world every day, but it's a domestic threat that has the top brass on the offensive on the home front -- predatory lenders. Here's how the Department of Defense is fighting back.

How 'Short-Term' Payday Loans Cause Long-Term Woes

A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending paints a seriously depressing picture of the damage the payday loan industry wreaks on its customers. What's worse is that the report actually understates the grim reality facing payday borrowers today.