Nov. 1, 2012 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should make financial education a top priority, helping students – and the public at large – understand key financial principles and the dangers of payday lenders, NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Tessema Tefferi wrote Wednesday.
Tefferi, in an Oct. 31 letter to the agency, was responding to a request for information on effective financial education from the CFPB’s Office of Financial Education.
While credit unions have long been on “the cutting edge of financial education,” Tefferi noted, efforts to educate consumers should continue. To that end, the CFPB should “engage in activities and institute programs” that foster an understanding of core financial concepts, he said. Financial education resources tailored to children should be available on the agency’s website in both English and Spanish, he said.
The CFPB should also use its authority to curb the practices of payday lenders and other predatory lenders and educate consumers about them. This type of action, Tefferi said, “will undoubtedly help consumers understand the dangers of payday lenders and other predatory lenders.”
Tefferi added that many credit unions provide financial education seminars at local libraries, schools and businesses that help consumers and members understand different savings or lending options, with some even purchasing educational materials for young students.