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What the Heck Is PMI?

PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. If you can't put down at least 20 percent when you're buying a home, your lender will make you buy it.  "PMI exists to protect lenders—and only lenders—from missed mortgage payments," says John Walsh, the CEO of Total Mortgage, a Milford, Conn.-based mortgage lender that serves 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Will You Be Able to Help Your College-Age Child in a Medical Emergency?

Early one October morning, Sheri E. Warsh, a mother of three from Highland Park, Ill., stepped out of the shower to a ringing phone.

What Amazon's Move Into Student Loans Could Mean for Borrowers

The news that Amazon, in partnership with Wells Fargo, has begun offering private student loans is a provocative development for the captive American student loan market now roughly 42 million strong and $1.3 trillion in debt.

Best Luggage Stores: Online or Brick-and-Mortar?

Most people don’t buy luggage on a whim—they buy it because they need it. Could be that their old suitcases don’t wheel as easily as they once did or that zippers are broken or the material on the suitcases is beginning to fray.

Update Your iPhone Now To Fix Flaw That Can Let Hackers Steal Your Stuff With A Single Text

There remains a perception, among many owners of Apple devices and products, that they are immune from the malware, security flaws, and viruses that often hit the competition.

How to Organize a Refrigerator for Maximum Freshness

After schlepping to the supermarket and back, you might be tempted to unload your haul as quickly as possible so that you can kick back and relax—or at least move on to other household chores.

Verizon Cutting Off Customers Who Test Limits of 'Unlimited' Data

There are apparently some Verizon Wireless customers out there who still have unlimited data, despite the carrier’s attempts to get rid of them by doing away with phone subsidies when these customers sign new contracts and hiking their monthly plan charges by $20 apparently weren’t enough, and now the company has announced plans to get rid of the heaviest users, the ones who gobble 100 GB or more worth of date every month.

Don't Fall for the Car Warranty Scam

If you get a call or letter saying that your new car warranty is about to expire and it offers you an “extended warranty,” use caution. Car warranty scams, which attempt to trick consumers into buying vehicle service contracts, continue to plague consumers despite government efforts to crack down on the caper.

How to Make Free Community College Work for You

Free college is a hot topic in this year’s presidential election. But a number of states and cities aren’t waiting until November to find a way to make higher education more affordable.

How to Beat Jet Lag

With the British pound plummeting and the U.S. dollar soaring, you might well be thinking of jetting off to London for a quick holiday.

FDA Should Investigate SPF Claims, Schumer Says

When you see an SPF number on a sunscreen bottle, you probably think you can trust it to protect your skin.

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

Like just about every other cost associated with higher education, the cost of college textbooks has been rising as well.

'Talking Cars' Video Podcast Discusses Buick Envision, Jaguar F-Pace, and More


We kick off the 98th episode of "Talking Cars With Consumer Reports" by discussing two new luxury two-row SUVs: the Buick Envision and the Jaguar F-Pace.

Best Printers for Back-to-School Families


You know as well as I do that back-to-school season is underway (and I don’t even have kids). Besides colored pencils and spiral notebooks, every family needs a good versatile printer these days, one that can handle tasks like scanning images for book reports, churning out pages of text for last-minute homework assignments, and—a millennial favorite—printing documents from a smartphone when someone else in your home is hogging the PC.

6 Successful Solar Power Projects and What They Cost


Some time around the end of March, the U.S. passed the 1 million mark for solar installations, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.  Even more impressive is the fact that 90 percent of these systems came online in the last 10 years.

Should You Try Massage for Back Pain?

A soothing massage might feel relaxing, but could it have real health benefits, too? Documented in early Egyptian tomb paintings and Chinese writings from as far back as 2700 B.C., massage involves a range of techniques for rubbing the body to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Can Special Food Storage Containers Keep Your Produce Fresh Longer?

Of all our favorite foods, fruits and vegetables are the most likely to end up in the garbage. Consumers throw out more than half of the produce they buy.

How Using a Grocery List and Other Strategies Can Cut Food Waste


Dana Gunders, author of the book “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook” and “Wasted,” a 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that sparked attention to the crisis in America’s kitchens, has some suggestions.

Kitchen Hacks That Make the Most Out of Your Leftovers

The cooks and food scientists at America’s Test Kitchen sometimes test a recipe as many as 70 times, and they don’t like to see all of those leftovers thrown out, says Julia Collin Davison, the executive editor of the book division and co-host of the ATK shows on PBS.

The Refrigerator Feature That Keeps Food Fresh Longer


Food freshness claims from refrigerator manufacturers are on the rise. We’ve encountered built-in air purifiers said to eliminate airborne bacteria, and we’ve seen small pouches that sit inside crisper drawers, supposedly absorbing the ethylene gas that causes some produce to ripen.


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