Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Consumer Archive

Consumer

Buy now pay later too risky during tough times

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (11/3/08)--In the wake of a mortgage meltdown, massive layoffs and shrinking portfolios, credit-hooked consumers must rethink their buying habits. Even consumers with good credit are affected by recent industry changes (The New York Times Oct. 29). More borrowers than ever are defaulting on payments. Lender write-offs totaled a staggering $21 billion for the first half of 2008, forcing lenders to tighten standards for lending money, shut down inactive accounts and reduce credit limits for existing credit cardholders. A lower credit limit often translates to a lower credit score, forcing you to pay higher interest rates and making it harder to get new credit. If small business owners discover their credit limits have been reduced on personal and business credit cards, the resulting lower credit scores may make it difficult to manage payroll and budget. If you’re maxed out on credit cards, take steps to decrease debt:
* Stop the ‘buy now, pay later’ treadmill. Carry only one card for emergencies, and leave the rest at home. You’ll be forced into thinking about a purchase rather than splurging on the spot. Once you’re home, revisit your budget and ask whether the purchase is a want or a need. * Know what you owe. Tallying your debt may be the wake-up call you need to make a major change in spending habits. * Resist the urge to borrow from your 401(k). With stock prices falling to bargain-basement levels, now is not the time to bail on your retirement fund just to pay down credit card debt (Creditcards.com Oct. 27). It’s virtually impossible to make up the interest gains you’ll lose by borrowing, and you’ll pay taxes and hefty penalties on the unpaid balance if you default on the 401(k) loan. You may not qualify anyway if your plan stipulates that a loan must be for financial hardship. * Pay more than the minimum. And as you pay off one card, apply that payment to the next highest interest-rate card to get rid of debt faster. * Contact your creditors. If you can’t make a payment, call and negotiate a repayment plan. Most lenders work with customers who take initiative. But don’t negotiate a payment plan you cannot afford.
If you’re not maxed out and you have a good credit rating, be aware of how recent changes could affect you. Watch for:
* Higher interest rates on existing accounts. American Express will be increasing effective interest rates by two or three percentage points for some cardholders. * Leaner rewards programs. Some card companies are cutting corners to save money, switching to cheaper brands on some reward items. * Fewer solicitations in your mailbox. While this is good news for environmentalists, it reflects the tightening of standards and slowdown in granting new credit to those who need it. * Higher fees. As card company profits plummet, expect to see a jump in fees to make up for the losses. Don’t chance it--if you usually pay your bill seven days before the due date, up that to 10 days or more. Better yet, pay bills online and schedule electronic payments to eliminate late payment fees.

Guests on HandFF Radio share tough-times tips

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/31/08)--Guests on Sunday’s H&FF Radio show share timely tips to cope with the recession--including getting a good deal on a car purchase despite tough times, correcting errors on your credit report, using new technology for home-based businesses, and preventing foreclosure even if it’s already started. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EST on the Radio America Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “Get a Good Deal on Your Next Car--Even in Hard Times,” with Warren Brown, columnist and author, Washington Post, Washington, D.C.; * “How to Correct Errors on Your Credit Report,” with John Ulzheimer, author, television host and president of consumer education, Credit.com, Atlanta; * “New Technology for Home-Based Businesses,” with Chris Kruger, national relationship manager, Co-op Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; * “How to Prevent Foreclosure--Even if It’s Already Underway,” with Ethan Ewing, president, Bills.com, San Mateo, Calif.; and * Q & A: Driving less? Reduce your insurance premium; air fare fluctuations; and new and hefty surcharges on rental cars.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Visa; and Western Corporate FCU and its member credit unions. For more information, read “Tough Times Series: Lenders, Counselors Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Tips to cool down your hot-water bill

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (10/29/08)--Trying to reduce costs? Although you can’t control gasoline and grocery prices, you can control hot water consumption (MarketWatch.com Oct. 23). At today’s rates, hot water costs can add up to more than $1,000 a year. If you have a family, your bill could be much higher. Begin with simple conservation measures:
* Involve the whole family. Sit down and discuss ways everyone can use less water. Don’t be a hypocrite--if you’re harping on your kids to turn off the water while they brush their teeth, make sure you’re doing the same. * Take showers instead of baths. Showering instead of bathing can save about 12,000 gallons of water a year--about $180 a year. * Set time limits for showers. Instead of hollering up the stairs each night for kids to get out of the shower, use an egg timer to help control length.
The Energy Department also recommends:
* Load the dishwasher. Washing dishes by hand uses more energy and hot water than your dishwasher. Load the dishwasher efficiently and try running it less frequently. When purchasing a new dishwasher, check the Energy Guide label. Know the difference between compact and standard capacity. Compact-capacity may appear to be more energy efficient, but actually may hold fewer dishes. *Wash clothing in cold or warm water, rinse on cold. Unlike dishwashers, there isn’t a minimum temp for optimum cleaning in a clothes washer. Older models can cost three times more to operate than newer models. Select a machine that lets you adjust water temps and levels. Efficient models spin-dry clothes, saving money when drying. Front loaders use less water and less energy than top loaders. Check EnergyGuide labels--a reduced capacity washer might mean you’ll have to do more loads. * Lower the water temperature. Set your water heater thermostat at the lowest temperature that will provide you with sufficient hot water. For most households 120°F water should be OK--about midway between the low and medium setting. This also is a smart safety measure to avoid little hands getting burned. If you’re going to be gone a few days, turn the thermostat down to the lowest possible setting, or turn the water heater completely off (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy).
For more conservation tips, listen to the radio segment “Use and Conserve Water Wisely” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

One report card that doesnt go away after high school

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/27/08)--One half of high-school seniors are unaware of the annual availability of free credit reports from the three nationwide consumer credit-reporting companies, according to a study released Oct. 22 by the Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Because most public school systems don’t require personal finance education for graduation from high school, the burden is on parents to familiarize their soon-to-be independent children about this lifetime credit “report card.” A credit report provides lenders and other legitimate users such as employers with a picture of a prospective borrower or employee’s credit repayment history. Maxine Sweet, vice president of public information for Experian explains how her credit-reporting agency handles information about minors. “If an individual's name is on an account, creditors are expected to report it regardless of the age. However, by policy, Experian does not report any account information for minors. The information that is collected is stored and updated, but suppressed. When people turn 18, the entire report is made available. Until then, we send a response saying that it’s the credit report of a minor and therefore no information will be provided,” says Sweet. So, if you’ve helped your teenagers build a positive credit history, it will help them when they turn 18 and want to buy a car or get a student loan. “The flip side is that if they don't make payments as agreed, that history will hurt them when they turn 18,” cautions Sweet. Here’s how to teach your teenager about credit reports:
* Together visit the website for requesting free credit reports and review the frequently asked questions (FAQs). Pay particular attention to details about your right to dispute or correct information in your report. “Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law--annualcreditreport.com,” notes Laura Levine, executive director of the Jumpstart Coalition. “Other websites often claim to offer ‘free credit reports,’ ‘free credit scores,’ or ‘free credit monitoring.’ They are not, however, part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program.” * If you are comfortable discussing family finances with your teenager, request your credit report and review it together. * Get in the habit of checking your own credit report regularly. Experts recommend that consumers space their requests for free reports evenly throughout the year so that they’re monitoring their credit “report card” every four months. Spurious information can alert you to the fact that you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
For more information, read “Credit Savvy Is Key to Avoiding Costly Missteps” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center. Have your teenager read “Entering the World of Credit” in C-Note, the high school level of Googolplex.

Expert shares credit card advice on HandFF Radio

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/24/08)--All credit cards are not created equal, and this week’s H&FF Radio show lineup includes an expert who has valuable and timely tips on five questions to ask about credit cards--and why those questions are so important. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “Five Questions to Ask About Any Credit Card,” with Ruth Susswein, deputy director of national priorities, Consumer Action, Washington, D.C.; * “Twenty Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs,” with Edward Jardini, M.D., chief of family practice, Twin Cities Community Hospital, Templeton, Calif.; * “What Every Service Member Must Know to Build Credit, Step By Step,” with Ethan Ewing, president, Bills.com, San Mateo, Calif.; * “Build Kids’ Money Skills With Halloween Fun,” with Jason Alderman, financial education director, Visa USA, San Francisco, Calif.; and * Q&A: Buying foreclosed property; identity theft targets children; replacement cost and actual cash value homeowners’ insurance policies; and find out if your home is at risk of flooding.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Visa; and Western Corporate FCU and its member credit unions. For more information, read “Tough Times Series: Credit Savvy Is Key to Avoiding Costly Missteps” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Read fine print during open enrollment period

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (10/22/08)—Instead of raising 2009 premium prices significantly for workplace health benefits, some firms will be charging more for out-of-pocket items such as deductibles, co-payments, and other fees, catching many workers off guard during the open enrollment period (The Wall Street Journal Oct. 9). Read the fine print before you enroll. Benefits consulting firm Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill., estimates that nearly two-thirds of workers select the same option they picked the previous year, which could result in sticker shock when the bills come in. Look for these and other changes that could have a significant impact on your budget:
* Higher out-of-pocket maximums * Higher deductibles * Higher co-payments * Co-payments for outpatient procedures * Shifts from flat co-pays to co-insurance charges that require you to pay a percentage of the total cost of a service * Confusing fee structures (for instance, a hospital admission may require a co-payment, as well as separate co-insurance charges for services during the hospital stay) * Elimination of certain drugs from the approved list * Reduced physical and/or speech therapy benefits
Before you enroll, check for coverage of any care you know you’ll need and see if it’s included in next year’s plan—don’t assume it’s included. Then decide on the plan that’s best for you. You may opt for a plan with higher out-of-pocket charges and a lower premium, or a high-deductible plan paired with a health-savings account, or some other plan solely based on your situation. Understand the real costs and coverage you get with each of the plan options. For more information, read, “Does Your Generic Drug Make the Grade?” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Hunker down resist urge to scale back 401k

 Permanent link
ATLANTA (10/20/08)—As 401(k) balances shrink and the economy slides further into a recession, you may get the urge to take swift action to try to rescue what’s left of your retirement savings. In most cases, you’re better off not doing anything—at least for a while (CNNMoney.com Oct. 13). Contrary to what you may think, now is not the time to reduce the amount of money you contribute to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. You’d be forgoing tax breaks associated with tax deferral, turning down free money from your employer’s match, and putting yourself at risk of not being able to make up for lost retirement savings after the crisis ends. Likewise, selling stocks right now is risky; you’d probably be selling low after buying high, which is the exact opposite of a wise investment strategy. What’s a smart investor with a 401(k) to do in today’s economic upheaval?
* Bump up your 401(k) contributions. By increasing the percentage deducted from your paycheck—with most stock prices in the basement—you’re getting more for your money (Salt Lake Tribune Oct. 2). * Avoid taking money out of your 401(k). If you’re not retired, you’ll pay a penalty on top of cashing out near or at the bottom of the market. * Resist the urge to take a loan against your 401(k). Although doing so is considered a better alternative than simply taking money out, these loans are particularly risky if you suddenly lose your job and are forced to repay the loan. If you can’t repay the loan immediately, you’ll pay a hefty penalty. * Diversify. Make sure your portfolio has a mix of investments to reduce your risk, or select a target-date—or lifecycle—fund, which automatically shifts to more conservative fixed income investments as retirement years. * Shore up emergency savings. Without a cushion, any unexpected event—medical crisis, repair bill, school expense—could bust your budget. * Decrease your day-to-day expenses. You’re going to need the extra cash for higher-priced goods and services and for emergency savings.
Finally, if your 401(k) has experienced significant losses, consider putting much more money into your retirement accounts, working longer, or a combination of both (CNNMoney.com Oct. 6). By working more years than you’d previously intended, you’re not only saving for a longer period of time and building a bigger reserve, you’re reducing the number of years you’d be pulling money out. For more information, read, “Flawed Assumptions Sap Retirement Savings” in Plan It: Retire Ready Toolkit.

HFF Radio guest Cooperatives benefit you economy

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/17/08)--Members aren’t the only ones benefiting from cooperatives—the economy benefits too, according to one of the guests on this week’s HFF Radio show. Other guests weigh in on foreclosure do’s and don’ts, how to find free entertainment, and how to keep kids safe this Halloween. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “Cooperatives—Good for You, Good for the Economy,” with Paul Hazen, president and CEO, National Cooperative Business Association, Washington, D.C.; * “Avoiding Foreclosure and Foreclosure Counseling,” with Rick Harper, vice president and director of housing, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, San Francisco; * “Buying Foreclosed Home Not a Slam Dunk,” with Gary Painter, Ph.D., professor and director of research, Lusk Center for Real Estate, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; * “No-Cost Ways to Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween,” with Scott Wolfson, deputy director, Office of Information and Public Affairs, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C.; and * “How to Find Free Entertainment,” with Susan Tiffany, director of personal finance information for adults, Center for Personal Finance, Credit Union National Association, Madison, Wis.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Visa; and Western Corporate FCU and its member credit unions. For more information, read, “Cooperatives Provide Value, Community” and “Tough Times Series: Lenders, Counselors Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure,” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Financial crisis Back to the basics of personal budgeting

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (10/15/08)--As stock market swings rattle nerves and grocery prices pinch pocketbooks, more people are realizing the importance of going back to the basics: they’re developing a budget. Stressed-out consumers who bought too much too fast during “good times” are now being forced to tighten their belts and manage their money (Reuters.com Oct. 9). “Given what’s happening lately, budgeting soon may be in vogue,” says Susan Tiffany, Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) director of personal financial information for adults, Madison, Wis. She says respondents to the 2008 Financial Fitness Challenge on CUNA’s Home & Family Finance Resource Center are showing high interest in trimming expenses for food and energy—whether to run cars, furnaces, or refrigerators. “They’re sharing ways to save money systematically instead of erratically.” The steps to develop a budget—or blueprint for your day-to-day personal finances—include listing all your income and expenses, figuring out where your money goes, balancing income and expenses, and then managing whatever system you choose—checkbook ledger, receipt method, envelope method, account book, or computer program. A successful spending plan helps you:
* Stay on track financially; * Decide where your money goes; * Make informed choices; * Determine whether you’re living within your means; * Develop a savings plan; and * Control your financial future.
Tiffany recommends that beginners allow for flexibility. “Make adjustments as you go along, and let all family members participate in the discussion about what to keep and what to cut out. Be ready to compromise and negotiate because, in the end, it’s all about reducing stress and getting back to what’s most important.” For more information, read, “Half of Workers on Paycheck to Paycheck Treadmill,” in Home & Family Resource Center.

Cybercrooks prey on anxious investors

 Permanent link
MCLEAN, Va. (10/13/08)—As anxieties over the global financial crisis run high, cybercrooks--hoping to cash in on the growing economic calamity--are targeting current and former clients of financial institutions that have failed or merged (USA Today Oct. 9). Bank customers--many from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Washington Mutual--report a spike in e-mails directing them to fake Web sites where they’re asked for personal information like username, password, name, address, phone number, and account details (UPI.com Oct. 9). Some customers are handing over personal information because the phisher claims the information is required to update files because of a merger. Many unsuspecting consumers are leaving themselves vulnerable to fraud in other ways. A survey of 3,000 Americans conducted by Zogby International and Symantec revealed that 80% falsely believed they had a firewall installed on their computer, yet only 50% actually had the protective software running on their computers (allheadlinenews.com Oct. 9). October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, sponsored by several national partners including the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security. The coalition recommends you take precautions to avoid being hooked by a phishing scam:
* Keep it private. Never provide personal or financial information in an e-mail message. E-mails aren’t secure. * Watch out for links. If you’re asked to click on a link within an e-mail message, don’t let your guard down—safeguard your personal information even if the sender appears to look legitimate. * Double-check the URL. If the URL has a variation in spelling or has a different domain—such as .com vs. .net—then don’t bite. It may be a scam. * Do some sleuthing. Verify whether the sender is legitimate by contacting the company directly. Don’t use contact information provided on the Web site associated with the request. Check your statements for phone numbers. Check out known phishing attacks at antiphishing.org. * Safeguard your computer. Install and update anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software. Visit download.com for advice and free downloads. * Use strong passwords. Use a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols.
For more information, watch the video, “Phishing: Don’t Take the Bait,” in Home & Family Resource Center.

Radio guests offer tips on auto buying fuel efficiency

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/10/08)--In a struggling economy, it’s more important than ever to watch where you spend every penny. Two of this week’s H&FF Radio guests tackle auto expenses: Tips for buying new or used vehicles, and how to get the most out of every tank of gasoline. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “International Credit Union Day,” with Ron Rioux, president/CEO, St. Mary’s Bank, Manchester, N.H.; * “Nine Tips for Buying the Right New or Used Car,” with Ken Wandstrat, affiliate program manager, Bills.com, San Mateo, Calif.; * “Myth Busters on Auto Fuel Efficiency, with Jessica Lin, communications associate, Alliance to Save Energy, Washington, D.C.; and * “AARP Tax-Aide: Tax Counseling for the Elderly,” with Bonnie Speedy, national director, AARP Tax-Aide and vice president, AARP Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Visa; and Western Corporate FCU and its member credit unions.

Survey More boomers forced to delay retirement

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (10/8/08)--A survey released last week revealed that more than half (55%) of baby boomers believe they’ll have to delay retirement by five or more years as a result of the economic crisis. Almost half (46%) of boomers report losses of 10% to 20% in their retirement accounts (MarketWatch.com Oct. 2). More than 450 members of Eons.com, an online community for baby boomers, participated in the survey between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2. Asked about the market crisis and how it’s affecting their retirement plans, respondents said the situation is the worst economic crisis in recent history. Thirty-four percent of respondents don’t expect to see a full recovery in their retirement accounts for at least five years, and 63% believe the blame for the economic downturn is shared by Wall Street, the federal government, irresponsible lending by banks, and individuals who bought houses they couldn’t afford. Even before the recent financial crisis, financial planners and counselors were discouraged by workers’ lack of planning and saving. A study released in April by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, D.C., revealed that 60% of workers age 55 and older have less than $100,000 saved for their later years (The Wall Street Journal Sept. 22). What’s a preretiree to do? One option that both preretirees and recent retirees are exploring is to work longer. Spending more time on the job gives you more time to build up your 401(k) balance. More months and years of wages, in turn, yield a bigger benefit from Social Security and decrease the time you have to depend on overall savings. And working longer is something you can control--unlike the stock market. For more information, read “Retired and Returning to Work” and “Can You Count on Social Security?” in Plan It: Retire Ready Toolkit.

Investor tips for topsy-turvy market

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/6/08)--If you’re brave enough to open your investment statements this month, do so calmly. Fight the urge to make short-term decisions that could be even more costly in the long-term (Kiplinger’s November issue). It’s a fact: People are biologically programmed to make poor decisions while under stress. So take steps now to reduce stress and to position yourself for a softer landing when the market rebounds:
* Make friends with cash. A well-oiled portfolio--even in boom times--includes some cash for emergencies. Shore up your cash reserves now, if you haven’t already. The right amount for you depends on the security of your job, cost of living, and appetite for risk (Businessweek.com Feb. 19). Keep the money in a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)-insured savings or money market account at the credit union, which is now insured up to $250,000. * Don’t push the panic button. If shock over the decline in your investment balances causes you to go on a selling spree, remember this: Your paper losses likely will turn into real losses if you don’t have investments in place to recoup those losses when the market turns upward (Smartmoney.com Sept. 17). * Make sure you’re diversified. Review your investment accounts. By spreading your portfolio among international and domestic stocks, bonds, commodities, cash, and other investments, you get more reward for less risk. Caution: Make sure you understand the investments you choose, and steer clear of complex investments you can’t explain. * Don’t stop investing. Think of stock price declines as a bargain or sale on investments. By shying away from the market now, you may be making a mistake and missing out on low prices. Remember the dollar cost average principle: You buy more when the price is low and less when the price is high. If you have less than a five-year time horizon before you need to begin pulling your money out for retirement or other long-term goals, you need to reevaluate your investment strategy altogether, putting safety ahead of risk. * Don’t eliminate all risk. If you do, you may hurt your investment return over the long term.
For more information, read “Key to Investing in Recession: Stay Calm,” in Plan It: Retire Ready Toolkit.

HandFF Radio guests tackle economy rescue efforts

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (10/3/08)--This Sunday’s H&FF Radio show is devoted entirely to the current fiscal crisis. Three guests give an in-depth analysis of the health of the economy, how recent rescue efforts measure up, and what Wall Street bailouts mean for Main Street. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “The U.S. Economy’s Health,” with Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president, economics and statistics, Madison, Wis.; * “What a Financial Bailout Means for You,” with Stephen Brobeck, executive director, Consumer Federation of America, Washington, D.C.; and * “Will a Financial Rescue Plan Work?” with Michael Farr, president and majority owner, Farr, Miller & Washington LLC, Washington, D.C.;
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Visa; and Western Corporate FCU and its member credit unions. For more information, read “Credit Unions: Safe and Sound” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.