March 10, 2014

Lew, Cordray talk financial education

March 11, 2014 – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and CFPB Director Richard Cordray both touted financial education for young people during a public meeting of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, which was attended by NAFCU.

Lew said, "Mastering the basics of financial decision-making at an early age will equip young people for the first major financial decision many Americans are likely to face: whether to pursue post-secondary education and, if so, how to pay for it." He also praised President Obama's proposal to increase the minimum wage and extend the earned income tax credit as a way to ensure those with less education can be financially secure.

Cordray, a member of the council convened by the president, spoke about the importance of talking to children from an early age about money.

"Young people who lack the skills to make effective financial decisions will find it harder to become productive and capable citizens," Cordray said. "They will incur unnecessary debt, miss opportunities to save money, and develop a poor credit history. These problems will block them from opportunities and resources to improve their futures. We are enrolling them in the ‘school of hard knocks,' with no reason to think they will avoid repeating the same mistakes others made before them."

Cordray reiterated the findings of a bureau report on K-12 financial education. He specifically recommended that teachers be given incentives to teach students about financial management and that such skills be evaluated in standardized tests.

NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Angela Meyster also attended the meeting. NAFCU is a strong supporter of financial literacy education, which is a top priority at credit unions across the country.