Our first financial literacy report to Congress

Today, we’re publishing our first financial literacy report to Congress. It discusses our approach to financial literacy and the work we’ve done to help consumers make better informed choices about their personal finances and achieve financial goals.

As Director Richard Cordray puts it in his introductory message, “Empowering people to take more control over their economic lives is absolutely essential to our mission. But consumers should not have to go it alone, without ready access to a trusted source of impartial and expert information about matters of consumer finance.”

Our approach to financial literacy is made up of three important principles:

Make sure people have the help they need, when they need it.

As one example, if you’ve got a question, we can steer you to some help right away. Ask CFPB provides unbiased answers to commonly asked questions we’ve heard from people like you.

Research and identify financial education methods that work.

Our research will help us form a basis for evaluating and designing financial education policies and programs, to be shared with other agencies and financial educators.

Collaborate with other groups to apply and fine-tune the best approaches.

We have conducted more than 300 stakeholder meetings to learn about what consumers need and to let them know what we have to offer. We talked with many groups, including faith-based organizations, organizations that serve minority populations, and financial education organizations.

We aim to help consumers as they face large life decisions, such as going to college and buying a home. We also aim to help with smaller decisions with large consequences, such as starting a habit of savings, managing debt, and passing along financial life skills to their children.

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll probably recognize many of the accomplishments described in the report. But if you want to catch up, the report is a comprehensive resource.

Due to technical issues, the commenting feature of our blog is temporarily unavailable. We’re working to bring this functionality back, and look forward to hearing your feedback and comments about the CFPB’s work soon.