Student Loan Consolidation

Dear Consumer Ed: My son just graduated from college and now owes $25,000 in student loans. He has learned of a company that is offering to negotiate a lower interest rate and consolidate the loans. How does he know this isn’t a scam?

Should I sign 2-year contract with a gym?

Dear Consumer Ed: The gym I want to join is asking me to sign a two-year contract. I’ve heard bad things about gym contracts. Should I sign it?

Refund Anticipation Loans

Dear Consumer Ed: I’ve seen ads for Refund Anticipation Loans from some of the tax preparers. Is this really a better, faster way to get my tax refund?

Can a bank void a mortgage if my checking account is transferred?

Dear Consumer Ed: I have a mortgage and a checking account with the same bank. The mortgage payments are up- to-date and have never been late. If I decide to change my checking account to another financial institution, can the bank rescind my mortgage loan?

Dealer won't refund my deposit

Dear Consumer Ed: I got the VIN number from the dealer and found out from CARFAX that the car had been in an accident. I showed the CARFAX report to the dealer and asked him for my deposit back, but he refused to return it. What can I do?

Can waste companies charge an environmental fee for recycling?

Dear Consumer Ed: Can waste companies charge an environmental fee for recycling? If so, are there any regulations as to what they can charge?