Are Repair Cafes Bad for the Economy?

Do you really own what you buy? If you own something, you should be able to do pretty much anything you want to do with it, like repair it, sell it, or set it on fire (safely and legally, of course). It’s that first one that we’ll consider at here. Some items, such as clothing or older cars, you can repair yourself (or have your agent do so). Others, such as iPhones, are practically impossible. Certain manufacturers have a monopoly on fixing items they manufacture and sell. Currently, eight states are considering right-to-repair legislation that would require electronics manufacturers to make spare parts and manuals available to repair shops and the public. Right-to-repair bills are part of a larger trend towards self-reliance and do-it-yourself venues such as Maker spaces and repair cafes.

CFPB Warns Of Student Loan Data Errors

Student loan debt is something many graduates find themselves saddled with for years, or even decades, after graduation. Unfortunately, this means they have to endure the occasional tango with student loan servicers, whether to determine monthly payment amounts, repayment plans or to address other questions and concerns that might arise over the life of a loan. The last thing on the minds of graduates and students alike is whether or not their student loan servicer is being honest with them and not trying to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, it seems some student loan servicers haven’t been playing nice lately, which prompted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a warning on Monday to consumers to “pay close attention to their personal information on record with student loan servicers as errors are popping up that can cost borrowers dearly.”

Maine Senator Protecting Senior Citizens From Car Insurance Hikes

Senator Bill Diamond (D) is pursuing legislation that will further protect Maine senior citizens from insurance rate increases due to their age. Diamond’s actions come on the heels of a dispute between Progressive and Maine Superintendent of Insurance, Eric Cioppa, last year when Progressive sought approval for “rate changes that would allow the company to charge older Mainers higher auto insurance premiums based solely on their age.” Fortunately, Progressive’s proposal was shot down by Cioppa, but Diamond wants to ensure “seniors in the state are protected against similar attempts from insurance companies in the future.”

Think Car Seats Don’t Have Expiration Dates? Think Again.

Any family with kids has a car seat or two…or three. From infant car seats and convertible seats to booster seats, there are many types of car seats on the market to keep children safe as they grow. But did you know they can expire? I didn’t, until now. Turns out car seats, like many other things, are only good for so long. I suppose this shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering the fact that car seats are made from plastic, and depending on the climate you live in, things like varying temperature changes and every day wear and tear and degrade a car seat over time. That’s why it’s important to check expiration dates on car seats and replace them as needed for your child’s safety.

Recall Issued for Little Tikes Pink Swings

Warmer weather is right around the corner, which means families will soon be spending a lot of time outside. Unfortunately, a popular toddler swing has recently been recalled due to safety concerns by Little Tikes and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Exactly what swing has been recalled, and how many? The swing in question is the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure pink swings, and an estimated 540,000 have been recalled so far.