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We’re looking for innovative partners for financial education research

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Many of us find it challenging to manage our money and today’s financial marketplace can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re testing innovative strategies to help overcome common financial challenges that many people may face on a regular basis.

For example, many people want to save — for emergencies, college, retirement, or other goals. But they may be overwhelmed by the range of savings products and choices available, and not start saving at all. When people have the option to make savings automatic, more of them succeed in meeting their savings goals.

We’ve been taking a close look at situations like failing to save, where consumers’ actions seem out of step with their goals. We’re investigating what might be swaying the decisions and what solutions or tools might work well. Now we’re ready to test a few ideas and see how helpful they are for consumers.

We’re seeking educational organizations, businesses, and other innovators to work with us to research approaches for helping consumers overcome common decision-making challenges around their finances. Then, we’ll evaluate how well they work and share the results with financial educators, policymakers, and the public.

If your organization is interested in working with us to test a new approach to helping consumers address some key financial challenges, check out the criteria and let us know by November 8, 2013 that you’re interested.

Through a public procurement, we’ve contracted with an independent third party to help us carry out this project. Their site has more information on the program and the criteria.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Disclosures: A new avenue for improvement

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Financial companies are required by our rules to provide consumers certain information about the products they sell. The intent is to make product terms clear to consumers. Sometimes we hear from consumers and companies that the disclosures could be improved.

A primary focus for us is helping to get consumers the most effective and understandable disclosures about consumer financial products.

To help achieve that goal, we have finalized a new trial disclosure policy, which allows companies to apply for a waiver to test potential disclosure improvements on a trial basis. The new policy is one more tool at our disposal, which is good news for consumers and companies.

The tests will provide us with data about what information and which delivery mechanisms help consumers best understand financial products and services. This data will help inform improvements to disclosure rules.

Please reach out to the Project Catalyst team if you’re interested in discussing ideas for trial disclosure programs. There is more information, including an overview of the program, available on the Project Catalyst page.

Due to the appropriations lapse, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is currently only publishing certain emergency documents. This policy will be published in the Federal Register once the OFR resumes its normal publication schedule and the policy will be effective upon publication.

Note: This post was updated at 1:30 p.m. on October 8, 2013.

Banking on campus forum

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We hosted a forum to discuss financial products and services marketed to college students.

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We’d still like to hear from you. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or tweet at us with #bankingoncampus.

Earlier this year, we published a notice asking about student checking accounts, debit cards, and other financial products. We heard from students, schools, and financial institutions about a range of issues. At the forum, we shared some of our findings about what we learned – check out our presentation.

We also heard from speakers representing the Office of the Attorney General of New York, the U.S. Department of Education, financial institutions, institutions of higher education, as well as students, and consumer advocates.

Live from Madison, Wisconsin!

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Today’s live event has ended.

We were at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) for a field hearing on youth and post-secondary financial education. There were remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, followed by a panel discussion, and testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public.

A recording of the event is available below.

You’re invited: Banking on campus

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Join us for a discussion on financial products marketed to college students:

1:30 p.m. EDT
Monday, September 30
Washington, D.C.

Earlier this year, we published a notice asking about student checking accounts, debit cards, and other financial products. We heard from students, schools, and financial institutions about a range of issues. At the forum, we’ll present some of our findings about what we’ve learned. We’ll also hear from industry, student advocates, and the higher education community.

While we’ve reached capacity for in-person attendance, you can watch the event live on our website. Here’s how you can participate:

  • Facebook and Twitter: Comment on our Facebook page and tweet at us with #bankingoncampus  during the discussion, and we may read your question or comment aloud.
  • Video submissions: Can’t participate during the event? We’re collecting video submissions in advance of the forum. Simply upload your comment to YouTube and send the link with the subject line “Video submission” to students@cfpb.gov. All video submissions should be less than 2 minutes in length and must be submitted before Sunday, September 29. We may play videos at the event and make submissions available online.

Credentialed media should RSVP to press@consumerfinance.gov.

The CFPB blog aims to facilitate conversations about our work. We want your comments to drive this conversation. Please be courteous, constructive, and on-topic. To help make the conversation productive, we encourage you to read our comment policy before posting. Comments on any post remain open for seven days from the date it was posted.