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Business  

Managing Your Money

Banking and Budgeting
One of the main keys to successful personal finance is planning. Developing a budget and understanding the psychological aspects of money helps you stay motivated and on-task.

Money 101 from CNN Money gives you some basic information about setting priorities and making a budget. A good budgeting worksheet can help you create the ideal budget.

Mymoney.gov from the Financial Literacy and Education Commission is dedicated to improving financial literacy and education. Topics covering all types of personal finance are included.

Finding Public Information about Individual Banks on the Internet is a guide from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help you get started investigating specific banks.

The Federal Reserve Board provides specific information about bank accounts and services.

About.com provides an overview of credit unions and how to choose one.

The National Credit Union Administration can help you find a credit union in your area.

Credit
The Federal Trade Commission provides information about how to access a free copy of your credit report.

The Federal Reserve Board helps you shop around for a credit card. Understanding what to look for can save money on interest and fees. Compare credit card features and costs and know your rights.

Yahoo! Finance offers a set of how-to guides to help you use your credit wisely, avoid bankruptcy and get out of debt.

CardRatings.com educates consumers about credit cards and is a comprehensive free resource for comparing credit card offers.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling promotes financially responsible behavior and gives consumer debt advice. The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Ozarks is a local agency which can also help with credit issues.

Mortgages and Loans
Mortgage Basics from Investopedia will help you understand financing, how much you can afford, interest rates and types of mortgages.

Tips for Buying a House from Money 101 is also a good place to start.

A comprehensive mortgage calculator helps you decide how much you can afford to pay. Once you have your mortgage, an amortization calculator can calculate a complete payment schedule during the life of your loan.

Yahoo! Finance and Financial Web provide basic advice about shopping for loans for cars, education, your home or a small business.

Insurance
Insurance basics from Yahoo! Finance give you a start on how to evaluate and purchase insurance including auto, homeowner's, life and health.

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud helps you watch for insurance fraud and includes special alerts and warning signs.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, a nonprofit agency, educates you about health insurance plans and how to purchase.

Consumer Reports shows you how to assess your health insurance coverage against five typical insurance needs.

Missouri Department of Insurance helps you with consumer complaints and provides basic information about insurance laws and enforcement.

Consumer Complaints
A compilation of federal consumer protection agencies from About.com will tell you how to file a complaint for almost anything.

In Missouri, the Attorney General’s Office is responsible for consumer protection. Start here to file a complaint online or call the hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

  • Know MO will allow you to search for complaints filed with the Missouri Attorney General.
  • Consumer rights publications from the Missouri Attorney General cover a myriad of topics including knowing your rights.
  • Check a Charity gives you some basic information about charities as well as report on their inclusion in the “seal of approval” from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Do you know how to protect yourself from identity theft? The Missouri Attorney General's Office offers basic consumer protection guidelines to help you protect yourself. The Federal Trade Commission is a one-stop national resource to learn about identity theft.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a nonprofit consumer information and advocacy organization that attempts to empower consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission offers practical information on a variety of consumer topics such as automobiles, loans, education, identity theft and telemarketing.

USA.gov has a Publications page that offers all types of consumer information including alerts and recalls, and a Consumer Protection page that can help guide you through consumer topics and filing complaints.

Missouri’s No Call List and the National Do Not Call Registry help protect you against telemarketers. Register with both for full protection.

The Better Business Bureau provides information on millions of organizations. You can use the Find a BBB form to find a local BBB in the area in which the company resides. The BBB of Southwest Missouri provides information about local companies including a searchable database that gives you a BBB Reliability Report.


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