Credit Cards, Smart Spending

CFPB Has a New Approach to Financial Education

In July of 2011, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau opened up shop.  Since then, they have become the consumer’s advocate for just about everything that relates to finances.  However, they do need to continue to get their name out there so people will know where to turn.  And what better way to do so than to teach the consumer about finances?

The primary function of the CFPB is to oversee the financial industries.  They monitor debt collectors, credit cards, major banks, mortgage lenders and many more to ensure that they are not abusing their customers.  However, prevention is not just policing the banks and holding the consumer’s hand.  Instead, making sure that the consumer is aware of their rights and responsibilities makes everyone’s job a whole lot easier.  That is where financial education comes into play.

Just the mention of the words “financial education” is enough to send many people running.  After all, a lot of the financial world is boring number crunching, and only a special kind of person really enjoys looking at all the numbers.  But financial education is not all boring.  And it is not all trite information like, “spend less than you earn and be sure to save.”  No, the CFPB is aiming to educate consumers on the topics that they actually care about.  Through careful market research they have narrowed down their educational targets.  The topics range from student loans, to money matter for service members or older adults.  They even have a section on their website that is dedicated specifically to you.  You can go on and ask the question that matter the most to you.

This is not just a onetime deal either.  The CFPB want to make sure that American’s are well educated, and they will be doing ongoing research as to what sort of education works, and what does not.  The goal is to help shape people’s financial literacy so they can then pass that knowledge on to the next generation.  The CFPB will still be functioning and expanding their services in the hopes of eliminating those who work in the industry that are preying upon those with a lower financial education than others.

A part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the CFPB is there to help the consumer.  Before they came into existence the financial world was largely dictated by the companies.  This left the consumer with little to no say in how their accounts were handled.  Without a proper education on what these companies could do, the consumer often got walked on in the spirit of making a buck.  Now the consumer can fight back against unscrupulous business methods.  The CFPB is their advocate, and their trainer.  As the consumer becomes educated, they become less of a target, and ideally only the “good” companies will survive.