Consumer Handbook

Each week Whitney Quick, with the Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau, brings you tips to help you be a better consumer and not be caught off guard by scams or the unexpected.

Better Business Bureau

Warmer weather and sunshine are finally here, and the tax filing deadline is – thankfully – behind us. Chances are that your seasonal chores include a spring cleaning.

The National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau have teamed up to remind everyone that when clearing out clutter, don’t forget about the critical need to take action and protect your volumes of valuable information.

James West/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

In 2015, the St. Louis metropolitan area was ranked top in the nation for identity theft complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission. While the number of ID theft reports are not as high as they were that year, there’s still a need for consumers to safeguard personal information in as many ways possible.

Better Business Bureau’s “Shred Day” offers one easy way to safely dispose of outdated, sensitive materials. This year’s Shred Day is Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Cape Girardeau.

Matt Madd/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

A recent College Board survey revealed that one year of college education can cost more than $45,000. With rates for higher education continuing to rise, high school students and their families often scramble to manage the financial responsibility.

Phil Roeder/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

For many consumers, flowers and trees in spring bloom mean it’s time to hire lawn care and landscaping professionals.

Camden County College/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Student loan debt has a serious impact on countless Americans’ finances, preventing some of them from buying homes and starting families. The burden of this debt leads some borrowers to seek loan consolidation and other debt relief options.

Borrowers should research these options carefully and not give in to the temptation to seek a quick fix that could turn out to be a scam.

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