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Chapter 3

Dodging Financial Traps

Borrowing money is an important step to fulfilling our dreams, but we need to keep an eye out for traps. Skepticism and an awareness of what could be lurking — hidden fees, sneaky-high interest rates, credit-score errors — are some of the tools we’ll provide to keep more of your money in your pocket.

Steps you can take

Here are some personal steps, included in Buyer Aware, that you can take to help you and your family navigate the financial traps of our economy.

More Resources

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

  • Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.


  • The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA”) is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market.


  • U.S. PIRG is an advocate for the public interest. We speak out for a healthier, safer world in which we’re freer to pursue our own individual well-being and the common good.


  • National Consumer Law Center® (NCLC®) uses its expertise in consumer law and energy policy to work for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people, including older adults, in the U.S.