News from the Reference Desk Category: Consumer

Want to Get the Most Out of Consumer Reports?

There is a difference between Consumer Reports online and the print version. 

Online: 

  • It is easier to find updated information on what you are searching for  
  • There is information you can get online that can’t be accessed in the print version. 

For example, let’s say you are looking at dishwashersOnline, the buyer’s guide is more detailed, and it offers a video demonstration of different dishwashers that the print version could not show you. The ratings and recommended models are there just like in the print version. You can see the predicted reliability of different models of dishwashers, but the online version does not have the owner satisfaction results, which can be a better indicator of the brand’s reliability you are considering.  

  • To access Consumer Reports Online, follow these steps: 
  • Start at www.mppl.org 
  • Click on the Research page: https://mppl.org/research/ 
  • Then click on Web Resources: https://mppl.org/research/web-resources/ 
  • You will need a Mount Prospect Library card number and pin to log in and use our web resources. 
  • Scroll down the page to Consumer Reports (Our web resources are in alphabetical order: 
  • Print: 
  • We have copies going back 5 years and they can be checked out. 
  • The print version does have the owner satisfaction results.  
  • It really comes down to your preference for how you want to access the information.
  • Staff at the Research Services desk are available to help you access both the online and print versions.

Deadline approaching for receiving stimulus money

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states there are millions of people who are eligible to receive their Economic Impact Payment under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, who haven’t claimed it yet. These individuals have until October 15, 2020 to claim their stimulus payment this year.  As the deadline approaches, download their recently released guide and find out if you are eligible, or ask your Business Librarian.

 

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.

Your credit and the CARES Act

If you made accommodations with your lenders or creditors due to financial hardships related to coronavirus, follow these steps from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure that your credit reports and scores are not negatively impacted. On this page you’ll also find helpful info relating to mortgage relief options, student loans and avoiding scams!

CLICK HERE!