I recently visited the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and learned first-hand about the many efforts of this federal agency to support consumers in making healthy financial decisions. As many of you know, the former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is the director of this agency.
After learning about all that the CFPB offers consumers, I would like to share some of the following online tools and resources:
First-time homebuyers: The “Know Before You Owe” section of the website provides homebuyers shopping for a mortgage with step-by-step guidance on how to approach this important decision. Buying a home is, for most of us, the most expensive transaction we make in our lives. Because it is often a new experience to us, a home purchase requires attention and preparation. The CFPB surveyed homebuyers to develop these resources and offers regular updates by email.
College students: A resource focusing on paying for college offers financial guides that address student loans, student banking, assists with comparing financial aid offers, and provides information about options for repaying student debt.
Consumers experiencing problems with a financial product or service: The website allows consumers to submit a complaint, by sharing bad experiences they have had with the financial industry. This is an important action to be taken, as a recent research study has shown that “both consumers and banks benefit when offending banks are exposed online.”
Staying up to date on financial tools and resources: The CFPB Blog shares valuable and timely information almost every day. Recent posts included:
June 09: It’s not too late to spring clean your finances.
June 14: Effective financial education: Five principles and how to use them.
June 13: More than just fun in the sun: Summer money matters for young workers.
June 13: Helping people plan for retirement.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau definitely filled a void by providing unbiased, research-based, and hands-on information and resources to us consumers.