Resources

Beat High Bank Fees

Banks rely on consumer indifference when they raise fees. They count on consumers not shopping around. PIRG’s Big Banks, Bigger Fees reports routinely find that small banks and credit unions are not following the big banks’ lead; they still offer many free or low cost accounts.

Resource | Higher Ed

Student Loan Debt in Illinois

The resolution of the on-going national debate about whether or not to extend the low interest rate on federal student loans will have a sizable impact on Illinois’ economy.  Without a new plan, on July 1 the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Ventra: What You Need to Know

Ventra is the new payment system for Chicago transit that will eventually allow customers to use a single fare card for regional transit throughout the Chicago area.  Unfortunately, the card comes linked to a prepaid debit card that could leave you on the hook for hidden fees and unpredictable charges.  To help keep you from getting ripped off, this resource includes:

  • What “Ventra” is
  • What will Change from the Current Fare System
  • Fees Associated with the New “Ventra” Transit Card
  • Fees Associated with the new Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card
  • Tips to Avoid Paying Fees
  • What You Should Know About Prepaid Debit Cards
Resource | Higher Ed

Issue Brief: Student Loan Debt in Illinois

If Congress fails to act, on July 1 the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. A 2007 college affordability plan lowered the rate, but expired in 2012. Last year, President Obama and Congress extended the low rate for one year. In Illinois, 337,440 federal student loan borrowers will be impacted.

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