Today, I attended my first public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Financial education has been a passion of mine for years. The ability to understand and control one’s finances is one of the most important life skills. It creates a path to economic independence and mobility. I view it as fundamental to responsible citizenship in our system of economic democracy.
As Director of the CFPB, I will serve as the Vice Chair of the Commission. I am proud to work with the representatives of the Commission who represent agencies throughout the federal government as we share a common vision of sustained financial well-being for all Americans.
At the Consumer Bureau, one of our responsibilities is to provide consumers with tools to manage their own financial lives. Yesterday, we posted a draft monthly mortgage statement to solicit feedback from consumers, industry stakeholders, and others. The information is intended to help consumers stay on top of their mortgage costs, and hold mortgage servicers accountable for fixing errors. We have also launched several Know Before You Owe campaigns to bring greater transparency to the markets for mortgages, credit cards, and student loans.
Giving people the tools and helping them build the skills to manage their money boosts personal confidence and protects their dignity. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the means to seek self-improvement.” At the Consumer Bureau, we believe in empowering people to make informed financial decisions and then take responsibility for those decisions.