News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Insurance Calculators

ValChoice, an independent data analytics company focused on the U.S. insurance industry, is offering our patrons unlimited access to online calculators, insurance company ratings, tutorials and “how-to” videos, worksheets, and other tools designed to help users understand how insurance—such as car and home insurance—is priced, and how to decide on policies based on their age, deductibles, coverage limits, and other factors.

This Illinois car insurance estimator lets you calculate auto insurance costs customized to your age, location, driving record, vehicle, etc. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Use this Illinois home insurance calculator to estimate home insurance costs based on home replacement value and location. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Educational videos that can guide you on how to use these calculators can be located here.

What to Do when Debt Collectors Call

From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Learning about your rights can help to prevent problems and avoid scams during this stressful time. If you have outstanding debts, you can use the When debt collectors call tool from our Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit to be prepared to respond to debt collectors.

The tool will help you to:

  • Take action to verify whether the claim is valid
  • Know how to dispute the claim if you do not owe the debt
  • Know what to do next if you do owe the debt

This information can also help you be prepared to avoid scammers who may pose as debt collectors to get you to pay on debts that you don’t owe.

A Versatile Resource for Students and Job Seekers

Students and Job Seekers Get one-on-one help with homework, writing, resumes, and more! Tutor.com

The library offers many great services to help students, parents, and job seekers and one of the best online resources is Tutor.com. You will be connected with qualified, expert tutors online, for one-on-one tutoring sessions during peak hours of 2 PM through 9 PM, and will have access to the study center 24/7.

You will find study-skill coaching for ALL ages offering help in setting goals, conducting research, taking notes, practicing good study habits, and preparing for the school year. Tutor.com’s “drop off review” service is unique and exemplary. Students can upload papers for proofreading, or they can upload math problems which have stumped them.

Job seekers can upload resumes and cover letters for review and advice. This is an incredible service and I wish that I had had someone who could review my reports and get them back to me in 12 hours.

Other features include foundational videos in math and science for students in middle school and higher, practice quizzes on a variety of subjects, and prep for the SAT/ACT and AP exams. 

Spanish-speaking tutors are available to help in math, science, and social studies, and writing assistance.

Suburban Cook County Rental Assistance Program

Income-eligible suburban Cook County residents who have struggled to pay their rent during the apartment building clip artpandemic can apply for a lottery rental assistance program. Money for this program will come from the federal CARES Act funds.  These funds will be administered by the Housing Authority of Cook County. The application period for the lottery opens on Monday, August 10 and closes on August 18.  Up to $4500 will be paid to a landlord for an eligible household selected in the lottery. Funding will be available to suburban renters with household incomes under 80 percent of the area median income  Residents can review their eligibility and apply for assistance here.

Cook County Property Tax Bills

cartoon house surrounded by moneyCook County Treasurer Maria Pappas recently announced that the second installment payment of property taxes is due August 3 but because of the pandemic, Cook County residents can pay without charge through October 1. Partial payments are accepted.  Property owners can pay online at the Treasurer’s website.  They can also search for refunds and verify tax exemptions there.  To check for information about your property simply enter your address; a Property Identification Number is not required.  Any balance due after October 1 will be charged 1.5% per month as required by law.