Saturday

Free Advice Websites

There's lots of places to find free advice on the web. You can hire professionals, sure, and you probably should when things get too complex or too difficult. But some free advice can at least get you started in the right direction. Here's a few common consumer problems and websites with free advice.

Credit Cards & Banking: Bankrate.com has tons of info on checking and savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards and a lot more about how it all works, including credit scores, budgeting and home buying.

Real Estate: Realtor.com is a commercial site run by the National Association of Realtors. It gives you the largest database of homes for sale that you can search in multiple waysand you can even zoom in or out of a neighborhood with its maps.

Personal financial planning: fpanet.org is the official website of the Financial Planning Association. Check out the links and info found under "Public Services" for brochures, articles, a retirment calculator and more. It's really quite cool.

Retirement: BenefitsCheckUp.org gives you info on public and private benefit programs for seniors in every state and DC. It even has application forms for more than 250 programs that pay for drug prescriptions and other health care costs.

And of course our own Consumer Rights: OhioConsumerLaw.com which has tons of info and links and how-to help on everything related to consumers, including common consumer scams, auto repairs, bill collectors, mobile homes, fraud explained, landlord-tenant rights, and much, much more. And don't let the title fool you. Much of the info generally explains consumer rights in all 50 states and DC, but of course you should always check with a lawyer for your own specific situation.

Defective Vehicle Law: UsLemonLawyers.com explains the Lemon Laws in all 50 states and DC, and has links to local lawyers that can help you get rid of that lemon car or truck.

Credit Rights: OhioFairCredit.com covers everything important to understanding how credit works and what your rights are when your credit goes wrong, including how to fix credit report errors, protecting yourself from identity theft, mortgage fraud, and lots more. And don't let the name fool you. Most credit rights come from federal laws so many of the most important credit protection laws are the same everywhere.