The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is teaming up with national and local groups to help consumers make wiser decisions about money.
The CFPB has launched a new online toolkit called Your Money, Your Goals in an effort to guide folks making decisions about budgets, debt-management, and how to avoid financial pitfalls. The outreach is focused on low-to-moderate income households. The CFPB will reach out to nonprofit and public service programs and train social service workers in using the tools to help clients.
Lower income people who may be trying to balance work, school, finding affordable housing and planning for the future will be able to learn about being savvy with their money by using the CFPB toolkit. Folks who already receive services from social workers at public agencies and nonprofits can get help from staff members they already work with.
“Your Money, Your Goals opens a new channel for connecting consumers to the Bureau’s information, tools and resources through the people they know and trust,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray.
Tools to build skills
The online toolkit contains checklists, worksheets, and information about reviewing and correcting credit reports, smart shopping for financial products, paying down debt and taking on new debt, tracking income and bills, opening a checking account and more.
People who might be stymied applying for a credit card will find assistance and information through utilizing the CFPB program and website.
Already, several organizations have announced their intention to support the Your Money, Your Goals initiative. Each group has pledged to train at least 500 staff members in using and teaching the CFPB toolkit. They include:
Catholic Charities USA and the Community Action Partnership
The Los Angeles Country Department of Consumer Affairs
The National Association of Community Health Centers Community HealthCorps
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension
A pilot program in the fall of 2013 tested the CFPB program, and 26 groups led workshops in 21 states. Case managers and other social services workers who interact with the public were familiarized with the materials, and workshop participants were drawn from veterans’ programs, homeless shelters, mental health programs, Head Start programs, health clinics and churches.
People can sign up for upcoming training events and information about updates to the toolkit at the CFPB website.