Why do I have different credit scores?

Dear Consumer Ed: I recently applied for a $6,000 loan to pay off some credit cards. When the bank pulled my credit score it was 550, but when I pulled it from TransUnion, it was over 200 points higher. How is that possible? Which is correct?

What is the maximum interest and fees a buyer of old credit card debt can charge?

Dear Consumer Ed: I have some outstanding credit card debt from seven years ago. I was recently contacted by a debt collector, who is not the actual creditor, attempting to collect this debt. They want me to pay fees and interest that have nothing to do with the original debt.

What can I do about high credit card fees and interest rates?

Dear Consumer Ed: My bank and credit cards are charging me all kinds of fees that I think are too high and unfair to consumers. Is there an agency that can get the interest rate lowered on my credit cards or help get rid of all those fees?

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?