Staying Updated on Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act
Because work continues on making the healthcare.gov site more functional and debate continues on what needs to happen to fix enrollment problems for health insurance, we suggest that you follow two blogs:
Planning on Giving to Typhoon Haiyan Victims?
The news has been full of pictures of the devastation in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Many people want to help. Unfortunately, with disasters such as this, scams appear almost immediately. Many of these scams take the form of fake charities.
Is Your Home Ready for Winter Weather?
No matter where you live, winter weather can cause damage to your home. Taking time to prepare your home, inside and out, before winter weather arrives, can prevent problems. These resources provide tips for preparing your home.
For the Best Prepaid Card, Shop Carefully
Prepaid cards have become very popular. They may look like debit cards but they aren’t tied to a bank account. They can be used to pay bills, make purchases online and offline, and make withdrawals from an ATM. People use them for a variety of reasons, for example, to help with budgeting or to provide funds to teens or college students. Even though some cards have added features and reduced the fees, prepaid cards still have some drawbacks. If you don’t choose carefully, the fees—activation, monthly maintenance, reloading, ATM use—can mount up.
Beware of Utility Billing Scams
There’s a billing scam making the rounds affecting consumers and businesses. Here’s how the scam works. You receive a phone call indicating that your account with the power company is past due and your electricity will be cut off if you don’t pay within a specific time frame, usually an hour. To pay, you need to get prepaid debit cards and call them back with the card number and PIN. Variations of the scam include requesting payment by debit card or credit card and coming to your door.
Update: Federal Student Loan Legislation Signed Into Law
On August 9, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013. This legislation reduces the interest rates on federal Stafford loans and is retroactive to July 1. Future loan rates will also be tied to the financial market.
What does this mean for students right now? For this academic year (2013-14) and the next (2014-15) for new subsidized federal loans, undergraduates will pay an interest rate of 3.86%, graduate students 5.41%, and parents (PLUS loans) 6.41%. The interest rate of the loan will remain fixed for the term of the loan.
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National Traffic and Road Closure Information
This site provides links to road construction and traffic information around the nation as well as other road related information.
Dos and don'ts of holiday car travel
These tips from Consumer Reports will help you avoid road trip headaches and stay safe.
These tips from the American Bar Association can help you shop safely online anytime of the year.
10 Holiday Tips
These tips from USA.gov can help you have a safe and happy holiday season.