Consumer Action Network

Don't Get Ripped Off

Our economy needs to be fair to consumers in order to function. While a company may make a short-term profit from ripping off consumers or putting an unsafe product on the market, it's not good for anyone in the long term. 

After Wall Street practices brought down the entire U.S. and parts of the world economies, Congress finally stepped up in July 2010 and created the Student PIRG-backed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new agency that will act as a counterbalance to the banks and ensure that the credit cards, mortgages, and student loans that consumers use are safe and easy to understand. When you have a complaint about a bank or credit card company, you can call on the new CFPB.

Our consumer program works to protect consumers by:

  • Alerting the publice to hidden dangers, scams, and unsafe products
  • Educating consumers about the choices available by conducting price surveys of various products and services available to students in an effort to allow them to the make the best choices for themselves.
  • Educating consumers about their rights in the marketplace by producing consumer guides to help people navigate the marketplace.
  • Advocating for change by working to build the support it takes to pass consumer protection legislation in our states and in D.C.

As students, we're particularly vulnerable to some specific consumer issues:

Latest Updates

College Textbooks Cost "Too Much", Students Seek Alternatives Survey Says

With the cost of a college education increasing, students say textbooks are too much to handle.

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AVOID THE DEBT TRAP

Summary

Avoid The Debt Trap provides you with the tools to avoid misleading and predatory practices by financial institutions and the knowledge you need to protect yourself, empowering students as financial consumers. This guide will help you understand and manage the basics of personal finance: banks, bank accounts, ATMs, bank fees, credit & debit cards, credit scores, budgeting, debt collection, ID theft, and financial privacy.

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Group brings awareness to Affordable Care Act

Through the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, students at the University are spearheading efforts to make their peers aware of the changes happening in the health care system.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

New Report Identifies Most Troublesome Private Lenders to Students

Thousands of American students are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes about private student loans, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Protection

CFPB Report Confirms 2009 Credit CARD Act Works to Protect Consumers

Statement of U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski (Excerpted from his invited testimony) at the CFPB Field Hearing on the Credit CARD Act Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Illinois

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