By Dan Rutherford,
Senior Content Specialist, CFPB Office of Financial Education
Program ideas, electronic and print resources, and marketing materials are now available free from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Back in April, when we announced our Community Financial Education Project alongside our national partners, IMLS, American Library Association, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and others, we talked about our five strategies to help make libraries the go-to place in every community for financial information and help. Today, we are happy to announce that we have taken the first steps in implementing these strategies by providing the following resources:
Free print materials – Order more than 20 free publications from the CFPB, Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Labor. Libraries can order up to 200 copies of each publication in English and Spanish. If you need to order more than 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program ideas – Every month, the CFPB will provide a few different program ideas from us, our partners and other libraries. We’ll also suggest people and organizations in your community that can help present or spread the word about the program, as well as websites and other materials you can use in your program.
Partnership guide – This 22-page guide was developed with input from librarians. The guide explains how local partners can help present or support programs, and walks you through the selection and planning processes.
Links and web resources – We reviewed and selected about 50 financial literacy websites, videos, and courses using a set of guidelines consistent with the National Strategy for Financial Capability and content selection guidelines of other national and international financial literacy organizations. Then, we sorted these sites into core links, fun sites, videos and courses.
Marketing materials – Download social media share graphics and web banners you can place on your website or share with patrons. You can also preview the posters, bookmarks and displays that will be available for bulk delivery soon.
Librarian training – Every month we’ll offer a one-hour webinar on a variety of financial literacy topics. We just did our first webinar earlier this month and recently posted the recording. We will also provide a list of upcoming webinars. The live webinars will provide updates on our progress, and opportunities for questions and answers. The webinars will also be recorded and archived for viewing anytime. We may also be able to schedule in-person trainings and presentations for larger groups of librarians. Write us at financialeducation.cfpb.gov for more information.
Other CFPB resources
Of course, librarians are welcome to use or refer patrons to the many other tools and resources available from the CFPB, including:
Ask CFPB – This database of consumer questions and answers covers most financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, student loans, prepaid cards, money transfers, credit reports, credit scores and more.
Submit a complaint – Consumers can submit complaints about a consumer financial product or service. The CFPB will forward the complaint to the company and work to get a response from them. If another government agency would be better able to assist, CFPB will forward the complaint to that agency and let you know. Visit our website or call 855-411-CFPB (2372). The CFPB’s contact centers can assist consumers in over 180 languages.
Consumer Complaint Database – This database lists consumers’ complaints about financial products and services (without personal information) and allows the public to know what is being complained about and why. Consumers can filter data based on specific search criteria; aggregate data in various ways, such as by complaint type, issuer, location, date, or any combination of available variables; and download data.
Paying For College – It is more important than ever for students and former students to make smart decisions about financing their college education. Whether patrons are attending college soon, a current student, or already have student loans, the CFPB has put together some tools and resources to help them make the best decisions.
Free CFPB Publications – The CFPB has free financial education materials in English and Spanish. These include brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, fliers, worksheets, and posters.
Tell us what you think, or share your ideas
As we said, these are our first steps in providing the financial education support you and other librarians said you wanted. So add the CFPB Library Resources page to your favorites. Then, tell us what you think. We welcome your feedback and suggestions in how we can serve you better.