It is time again to consider a few possible consumer-oriented New Year’s resolutions that could help you become a stronger and more strategic consumer in 2015.
Resolve to review your credit report for accuracy and avoid identity theft.
Federal law gives consumers the right to ask each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies annually for a free copy of their reports. Reports can be requested at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling toll-free, (877) 322-8228.
If you are unhappy with strangers calling to solicit sales of things that you do not want, resolve to consider placing your telephone numbers on the U.S. government’s “Do Not Call List.” Numbers can be registered at www.donotcall.gov.
Information on Indiana’s “Do Not Call” registry is available at http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2336.htm (click “Do Not Call” at the left). You can also read about Indiana’s “Do No Fax” statute at the website.
Resolve to consider conducting a 2015 professional home energy assessment. Assessments can help identify problems that, if fixed, could save money on energy bills. Visit www.eere.energy.gov for general tips on making homes more energy-efficient.
Resolve to spend time in 2015 helping your children or grandchildren learn more about being good consumers. It is an investment in their future. An example of youth-oriented consumer information can be found online at www.mymoney.gov (click “youth” near the bottom of the page).
Opinions are solely the writer's. Joseph Pellicciotti is a lawyer, professor and vice chancellor at Indiana University Northwest.