Holly Petraeus, Director, Office of Servicemember Affairs, CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is hosting an online forum on veteran consumer issues on Friday, May 9 at 2 p.m. EDT. The event will focus on common consumer issues for veterans and military retirees. Highlights will include a review of tools that can help veterans capitalize on key benefits and information that can help them avoid consumer scams.

Andia Dinesen, AFC, VP Communications and Operations, Association of Military Banks of America

AMBA recently wrote a blog about the importance of knowing your credit score and knowing what information is in your credit report. This blog also referred to credit as a whole and how it affects the cost of good credit versus not so good credit when applying for loans and utilizing credit. The all-so-familiar slogan “cash is king” may not be the best phrase to live by. Not only can it be difficult to live in a world without credit, but it can also be problematic to not maintain any credit. The concept of sustaining and using credit wisely is the best option. The “credit conversation” is important to everyone. Most likely as a reader of this blog you will fit into one of three categories. A . You have credit, and use it wisely. B . You have credit, and are in over your head in debt. C . You don’t have any credit, or very little, but realize that you will need to use credit and build your credit. There are of course gray areas in each category but for the sake of this blog, we will assume you fit into one of these categories.

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Have you gotten an email with the subject line “Pending consumer complaint” that looks like it came from the FTC? The email warns that a complaint against you has been filed with the FTC. It asks you to click on a link or attachment for more information or to contact the FTC.

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Do people think you’re a jerk? What if a search of your name turned up a site that seemingly answered that question for anyone to see? Meet Jerk.com. Today the FTC charged Jerk — a supposed social networking site and reputation service — with allegedly tricking people into paying for site memberships to dispute profiles.

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist

If you’re a college student seeking financial aid, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you can. Yes, I know, the deadline for submitting the FAFSA is June 30th, but many states and schools allocate funds on a first-come, first-served basis. What’s more, some states have deadlines for filing the FAFSA to be eligible for certain kinds of aid.

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist

When disaster strikes, you can be sure that scam artists will be close behind. The latest example is the massive mudslide in Oso, Washington. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, and Bob Ferguson, Washington State Attorney General , urge consumers to be on guard against scam artists who try to take advantage of the tragic situation.

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist

The FTC’s Used Car Rule has been the law of the land since 1985. It requires used car dealers to post a Buyers Guide on cars they offer for sale. The Guide gives customers important warranty and other information to help them make an informed buying decision. So when Abernathy Motor Company failed to display a single Buyers Guide on all of the used cars for sale at its Jonesboro, Arkansas location — even after the FTC warned the company about the violation — the agency said it’s time to pay the piper. Each violation could result in a civil penalty of $16,000.

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Have you ever gotten one of these calls? Someone says they’re with a government agency or the sheriff’s office and threatens that you’ll be sued or arrested if you don’t pay a supposed debt. But really, the people contacting you are imposters looking to scare you into sending them money.

Nicole Vincent Fleming, Consumer Education Specialist

So, you’re about to begin a new job search, and you’re ticking items off your to-do list. You’ve set up an online account so you’ll know about new job openings. You’ve polished your resume — and your shoes. You’ve run through some possible interview questions with a friend. Have you requested your annual credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com ? No? Well, go ahead.

Andrea Arias, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection

Most consumers know that creditors use information about them and their credit experiences – like the number and type of accounts they have, their bill paying history, and whether they pay their bills on time – to create a credit score, which helps predict how credit worthy they are. (And if they don’t, they can learn about credit scores at the FTC’s Consumer Center.) What most consumers don’t know is that data brokers offer companies scores for other purposes unrelated to credit – for example, for marketing, advertising, identity verification, and fraud prevention. Businesses use these scores to decide which transactions require further scrutiny, what offers and prices to offer certain consumers, and even in what order to answer a consumer’s customer service call.

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