FDIC Consumer News: Tips on Preparing Financially for a Stressful Life EventWednesday, 27 August 2014
No one wants to think about it, but everyone needs to plan for stressful life events that include disability or death. The latest issue of FDIC Consumer News features tips on preparing financially for such events, plus basic strategies for helping family members or others who are facing a personal hardship. The Summer 2014 edition also reports on enhancements to the FDIC Web pages explaining deposit insurance, tips for rebounding from a bad credit history, and basics to know about new credit and debit cards that contain a computer chip for added security. Here's an overview of what is in this issue:
Are your finances ready for a stressful life event? The newsletter discusses a variety of precautions consumers can take, ranging from building a rainy day fund (to help get through a difficult period without having to take out a loan or borrow from retirement savings) to steps that will make it easier for loved ones to find important documents and manage financial affairs in an emergency. Also included are tips for people who may suddenly become responsible for managing someone else's money, and what to know about scams that target the ill, the elderly or others facing a serious personal challenge.
The FDIC enhances deposit insurance information online: Each year, millions of consumers come to the FDIC's Web site to learn about their deposit insurance. Our new, improved site at www.fdic.gov/deposit brings all of the agency's deposit insurance material together in one easily accessible place. And, it offers two new videos and two new online tools that will help depositors better understand their insurance coverage. Of course, you can always call the FDIC at 1-877-ASK-FDIC -- that is 1-877-275-3342 -- to get answers from a deposit insurance specialist.
Five tips to help rebound from a bad credit history: For people grappling with a history of debt payment problems, improving their credit record may seem like a daunting task. FDIC Consumer News offers five suggestions that can help increase the chances of qualifying for better loan terms, lower insurance rates and perhaps even a new job or apartment.
New credit and debit cards that contain a computer chip: Some U.S. consumers have received a new credit or debit card from their financial institution that contains a computer chip, while others can expect to receive one by late 2015. The microchip makes it less likely that a payment card will be used for a fraudulent transaction in person, such as at a store, but consumers still need to be on guard against fraudulent purchases online, over the phone or by mail. The FDIC newsletter discusses what the transition to chip cards means for consumers, including getting used to new payment terminals at stores.
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The FDIC encourages financial institutions, government agencies, consumer organizations, educators, the media and anyone else to help make the tips and information in FDIC Consumer News widely available. The publication may be reprinted in whole or in part without permission. Please credit FDIC Consumer News. Organizations also may link to or mention the FDIC Web site.
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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's banks and savings associations, 6,730 as of March 31, 2014. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars — insured financial institutions fund its operations.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-70-2014