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Consumer Reports Magazine | August

Published: August 2016
August 2016

Cover Story

Special Report: The Student Debt Crisis 42 million people owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. How we made this mess, who’s to blame, and what you can do about it.
Lives on Hold Millions of Americans who went to college seeking a better future now face crushing debt from student loans—while the industry makes a handsome profit. How a broken system landed so many in this mess.
Faces of Student Loan Debt The stories of young Americans struggling to get out from under the weight of student debt.
Costing It Out The way you repay student loans really matters.
Degrees of Debt and Regret An exclusive Consumer Reports survey finds that many young people question whether getting a college degree was worth the cost.
Student Debt vs. Mortgage Debt: What Makes Them So Different? Unlike mortgages and most consumer loans, education debt can haunt you for life.
Having the College Money Talk 10 key questions every family should discuss.


Kitchen Makeovers Made Easy Product recommendations and savvy strategies that will bring your dream kitchen within easy reach.
A Budget Kitchen Remodel for $5K to $15K If you're handy, you can save even more on a kitchen remodel by doing a lot of the work yourself.
A Mid-Range Kitchen Makeover for $25K to $50K Believe it or not, half of kitchen projects are in this price range.
A High-End Kitchen Transformation for $75K to $125K When you spend this much money, you want a kitchen that impresses.
Big Appliance Brands Focus on the Compact Kitchen With more people making do with less space, manufacturers are rolling out new suites of stylish appliances in petite sizes.

Is There a Cure for High Drug Prices? The cost of prescription drugs for tens of millions of Americans rose $2 billion last year, and all signs point to a continued rise. At stake is nothing less than the ability of Americans to afford the medicines they need. Can we stop the madness?
As Drug Prices Increase, Quality of Life Goes Down Those with increases in the cost of their drugs were more likely to spend less on essentials like groceries, and on other medical care.
Doctors and Rx Prices: Ending the Silence Doctors focus on efficacy and safety when considereing drugs for patients. That means patients need to raise the issue of possible, cost-effective alternatives.
Medicare Patients Struggle With Prescription Prices Seniors take more medication, spend more money on them, and many are on fixed incomes.
Solving the Problem of High Drug Costs Consumer Reports' medical experts find solutions for families struggling with high drug costs.


Shedding Light on Solar Power With the price of panels and installation falling and an extension of the federal tax credit, now is a good time to consider solar.
The Real Cost of Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels Weigh all your options before settling on a solar system.
How Utilities Are Fighting Back on Solar Power With Americans are starting to see savings from solar, many traditional electricity suppliers are working to retain their profit margins.
Better-Looking Solar Solutions on the Horizon Technology is making, or will soon make, solar power easier to use and more efficient—both on your home and on the go.

Why Ticket Prices Are Going Through the Roof If you can't score affordable seats to a concert, play, or sporting event, blame it on unscrupulous brokers. Here, how not to get fleeced.
Ticket Fee Frenzy: When You Buy a Ticket, the Cost of the Seat Is Only the Beginning A look at some of the added charges that can make the price of an event ticket soar.

Product Updates

Find The Best Bike Helmet More head injuries occur in biking than in any other sport—and bike helmets can save your life. Our tests this year reveal the best helmets, including those made with a technology aimed at protecting riders from concussions.

Road Report

Fastening Seat Belts: The 3 Seconds That Save Lives A confounding 11.5 percent of Americans put themselves at risk by not buckling up. The consequences, from higher insurance rates to compromised car design, affect us all.
5 Dangerous Seat Belt Lies People Tell Themselves Many of the reasons people give for not buckling up are false—and hazardous.
What Will It Take to Get to 100 Percent Seat Belt Use? Almost 25 million drivers and passengers don't buckle up.

2016 Toyota Prius Review Even in an era of cheaper gasoline, the redesigned Toyota Prius has a lot to recommend it—to consumers and to the planet. Plus four other green cars to consider.


From Our President: The Long Shadow of Education Debt With U.S. student debt at an all time high, how can we restore the hope of affordable higher education?

Building a Better World, Together Join with us to make a safer, healthier marketplace.

Selling It Goofs, glitches, and gotchas spotted by our readers.

The August 2016 issue of Consumer Reports provides recommendations, expert buying advice, and Ratings on hundreds of consumer products. Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services, with more than 7 million print and online subscribers. It conducts the most comprehensive testing programs of any U.S. publication or website, and the company's experts have decades of experience in testing and reporting.

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