The CFPB has issued its second Financial Literacy Annual Report to Congress. The report covers the CFPB’s activities to improve consumer financial literacy during the period from June 2013 through May 2014. The report’s Appendix contains a list of the CFPB’s financial education resources as of May 31, 2014.
The report discusses the CFPB’s activities as they relate to the three key components of the CFPB’s financial literacy strategy: education initiatives, research and innovation, and outreach to key stakeholders who can help to reach the public.
With regard to education initiatives, the report describes various active CFPB initiatives during the period covered by the report, including the CFPB’s “Paying for College” tools, initiatives through community institutions such as helping libraries develop financial education programming and developing information for employers about workplace financial education, and the development of guides and other resources to enhance protection for older consumers.
In the area of research and innovation, the CFPB discusses its various projects which include (1) a research project to develop measures of financial well-being for working age and older American consumers, (2) a project to conduct a quantitative evaluation of two existing financial education programs involving financial coaching, (3) a multi-phase project to help the CFPB determine whether the financial capability of low-income and other economically vulnerable consumers can be enhanced through bundled financial products and services, (4) a project to develop prototypes of innovative approaches to help consumers overcome common decision-making challenges and then evaluate the effectiveness of the approaches, and (5) a research project to study the effectiveness of “rules-of-thumb” -based approaches aimed at helping consumers decrease their credit card debt. (The CFPB describes “rules of thumb” as “a decision-making and education technique that uses practical, easily-implemented guidelines for making decisions.”)
In the area of outreach, the CFPB discusses various webinars, meetings, programs and other activities it conducted during the period covered by the report, including those specifically targeted at servicemembers, students, older consumers and low-income and other economically vulnerable consumers.