Make financial decisions with the most reliable information
Show patrons how to identify the best and most trustworthy information for their money decisions.
Having timely, unbiased, and reliable information can help level the playing field when choosing a loan, picking an investment, or making other money choices. But, with so much information available, it’s harder and harder for savers and shoppers to cut through the clutter and understand their options.
What should they look for? How can your library help?
This program could be a single discussion, or a series of workshops with hands-on demonstrations that introduce patrons to available databases, websites, and print resources. Speakers could also shine a spotlight on pitches, ploys and scams to avoid. Some good places to start are listed below.
Workshops could use video advertisements or direct mail offers as a starting point to comparison shop or validate statements. Use online mortgage offers to compare rates and terms with local lenders. Show patrons how to verify email solicitations to avoid phishing scams or other forms of identity theft. When dealing with investments, demonstrate how to check if a seller or an investment is properly registered, as well as find the latest prices and returns.
Try creating different scenarios and ask patrons to search for the best answers, and discuss their results.
These are good opportunities to also discuss what questions customers should ask salespeople or financial professionals, and how to independently verify what they hear.
- Reference librarians
- State regulators for investments, insurance or banks
- Housing or credit counselors
- State attorneys general
- Local law enforcement
- Ask CFPB
- CFPB Explore Interest Rates
- A closer look at reverse mortgage advertisements and consumer risks
- FINRA BrokerCheck
- CFTC SmartCheck
- SAVED: Five steps for making financial decisions (preview | order)
- How to find the right credit card for you (preview | order)
Who can help spread the word?
- Legal aid offices
- Local consumer affairs reporters
- Chambers of commerce