House holds financial literacy hearing

Consumer Action statement added to the hearing record

Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (415) 777-9648, or Linda Sherry, (202) 544-3088

The House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, today holds a hearing on financial literacy and education to examine the effectiveness of governmental and private sector initiatives. April is Financial Literacy Month. Consumer Action has submitted a statement for the record at today's hearing. Click here to download PDF statement. In partnership with public and private entities, Consumer Action creates award-winning multilingual educational projects promoting informed participation in the marketplace by people of color, low income and rural consumers, recent immigrants and seniors. Consumer Action firmly believes that financially literate consumers are more confident about their money management skills and thereby make more successful personal financial choices and are less vulnerable to scams and predatory financial services. Consumers who are taught personal finance skills and how to prepare for emergencies and/or homeownership demonstrate a higher level of money management skills. Despite the efforts of many nonprofit organizations and government agencies, there remains a critical need for financial education across many populations—students, young working adults, low-income people, immigrants, the uneducated and older Americans. The continued growth of predatory and abusive lending practices as well as the increasingly high credit card balances carried by average American households, are proof of the great need for improved financial literacy. Consumer Action applauds the House Financial Services Committee for holding this important hearing and to the bipartisan Financial Literacy Caucus co-chairs Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) for focusing attention on financial literacy and highlighting important consumer education efforts. “Learning to manage one’s spending is the most important thing an individual can do to ensure their family’s financial future. Unfortunately, too many Americans right now are struggling with unmanageable mortgage payments, credit card debt, and out-of-control spending habits,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “This hearing is part of an on-going effort to discover what financial literacy programs work and find ways to incorporate financial education into the classroom and into the day-to-day lives of consumers. It will be a detriment to our nation’s economic future if so many Americans continue to mismanage their money, credit, and debt.”



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