Student Consumer Action Network

Don't Get Ripped Off

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 WISPIRG-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 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. 

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:

Issue updates

Toy Safety Tips

Summary

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

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Trouble in Toyland

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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WISPIRG talks health care law, how it affects students

Six months after the Health Care Reform bill passed, we released a guide to help young people get health insurance

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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection, Corporate

POLL SHOWS VOTERS FAVOR STRONG OVERSIGHT OF WALL STREET AND BACK NEW CFPB

Madison, WI – July 18, 2012 -- Financial reforms enacted in response to the financial  meltdown remain popular with those likely to vote in 2012, a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners shows. The poll was commissioned by AARP, National Council of La Raza  (NCLR), the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR). Saturday July 21 will mark the two year anniversary of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new agency with a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant unfounded political attacks in its first year of work.

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News Release | Student PIRGs | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed, Student Debt

Banks Skim Millions in Fees from Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

Washington, D.C. – Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections, and few options. Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

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