Practitioner tools for navigating financial exchanges with family and friends

Financial educators are particularly aware of the prevalence of these types of financial arrangements – otherwise known as family financial exchanges (FFEs). To support practitioners helping clients through these often sensitive conversations about these arrangements, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the Friends and Family Exchanges Toolkit , a four-part guide for coaching clients in asking for financial help or changing an existing agreement due to their own financial hardship.



CFPB Consumer Education Resources

Resources to provide consumers up-to-date information to protect and manage their finances during the coronavirus pandemic. Resources include:

  • mortgage and housing assistance
  • managing your finances
  • student loans
  • avoiding scams

And resources for specific audiences, including:

  • older adults & their families
  • parents & kids
  • people experiencing homelessness



Measuring the Financial Well-Being of Hispanics: 2018 Financial Well-Being Score Benchmarks

This report provides a foundational set of benchmarks of the financial well-being of Hispanics ages 18 and older in the United States in 2018, as measured by the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale, that practitioners and researchers can use in their work. The benchmarks were developed using data from the FINRA Foundation’s 2018 National Financial Capability Survey. This report specifically shows financial well-being score patterns for Hispanic adults by socio-demographics, financial inclusion, safety nets, and financial literacy factors. The report highlights key findings in the data and the implications for organizations that are planning to use the benchmarks.



Housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic

CFPB released their first analysis of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing in the United States. Actions taken by both the public and private sector have, so far, prevented many families from losing their homes during the height of the public health crisis. However, as legal protections expire in the months ahead, over 11 million families — nearly 10 percent of U.S. households — are at risk of eviction and foreclosure.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being. 

This paper also provides a few examples of how Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs creatively used Bureau tools, resources and technical assistance to encourage savings as well as some of the results they reported. It provides insights from a subgroup of the programs in the cohort that collected additional information from consumers on their intent to save, the various types of accounts into which they saved, and the goals they were striving for by saving. Finally, this paper offers recommendations on some strategies that can be employed to increase people’s interest and commitment to saving during the tax preparation process. 



2019 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2019 Financial Literacy Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights the Bureau’s Start Small, Save Up campaign, the Office of Financial Education’s foundational research, in conjunction with the Office of Older Americans, to understand the pathways to financial well-being, the Office of Servicemembers Affairs’ Misadventures in Money Management online training program, the Office of Older Americans’ Managing Someone Else’s Money guides, and the Office of Community Affairs’ Your Money, Your Goals toolkit, along with other direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research.



Planning for tax-time savings

This report presents the results of a large-scale field experiment that the tax preparation company H&R Block (the Company) conducted in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB). The field experiment investigated whether customers could be encouraged, through consumer communications with and without the offer of a small financial incentive, to use a savings feature on a prepaid card to save a portion of their tax refunds from all sources, including state and federal refunds. The CFPB was particularly interested in whether consumers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be receptive to messages about saving. 



2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report details the United States' Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's financial literacy strategy and activities to improve the financial literacy of consumers. Congress specifically charged the Bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions. Empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests, and choose the financial products and services that best fit their needs is vital to preventing consumer harm and building financial well-being. Overall, this report describes the Bureau’s efforts in a broad range of financial literacy areas relevant to consumers’ financial lives. It highlights our work, including the Bureau's:

  • Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pivot to financial resilience
  • Start Small, Save Up campaign
  • Foundational research to understand the pathways to financial well-being
  • Misadventures in Money Management online training program
  • Managing Someone Else’s Money guides
  • Your Money, Your Goals toolkit
  • Paying for College tool
  • Direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research



Retirement Security and Financial Decision-making: Research Brief

A growing number of retirees are not experiencing the expected gradual reduction in spending after they retire. This report summarizes the findings of a Bureau study into whether people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had the income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same level of spending for at least five consecutive years after retiring. The study found that about half of people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years after retiring. In addition, the Bureau found that the ability to maintain the same spending level in the first five years in retirement was associated with large spending cuts in later years. The study helps identify ways to protect retirees from overspending their savings in early retirement.



Pressure Creates Diamonds: Money Management During Coronavirus

The town hall with CFPB Director Kraninger and Pro Linebacker Brandon Copeland includes steps, and tools to help people plan and persevere during financial challenges.

The page also includes access to free resources on a number of topics including mortgage help, dealing with student loans, paying bills, building savings and more.



Targeting credit builder loans: Insights from a credit builder loan evaluation

This report presents the results of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) funded evaluation of a Credit Builder Loan (CBL) product. CBLs are designed for consumers looking to establish a credit score or improve an existing one, while at the same time giving them a chance to build their savings.

The study used random assignment to explore four research questions:

  • How does the CBL affect participants’ likelihood of having a credit score?
  • For participants who already had a credit score, how does the CBL affect their score?
  • How likely are CBL borrowers to make late payments on the CBL and other loans?
  • Does the CBL affect participants’ savings balances?



Helping Consumers Claim their Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a guide to assist intermediaries in serving individuals to access their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The guide, Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations , provides step-by-step instructions for frontline staff on how to:

  • Discuss the EIP with their clients
  • Determine if clients need to take action
  • Support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues



Financial well-being in America

This report provides a view into the state of financial well-being in America. It presents results from the National Financial Well-Being Survey, conducted in late 2016. The findings include the distribution of financial well-being scores for the overall adult population and for selected subgroups, which show that there is wide variation in how people feel about their financial well-being. The report provides insight into which subgroups are faring relatively well and which ones are facing greater financial challenges, and identifies opportunities to improve the financial well-being of significant portions of the U.S. adult population through practice and research.



Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide

This guide provides step-by-step materials to help communities form networks to increase their capacity to prevent and respond to elder financial exploitation.

The planning tools, templates and exercises offered in this guide help stakeholders plan a stakeholder retreat and training event, host a retreat, reconvene and establish their network, and expand network capabilities in order to create a new network or to refresh or expand an existing one.



How to use your tax refund to build your emergency savings

Learn how your tax return can kickstart your savings. This guide from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau walks you through some fast and easy ways to use your tax refund to increase your savings.

This guide covers multiple topics including: why save your tax return, how to save money fast, affordable ways to file your taxes, and how to protect yourself from tax fraud. 



Video: Debt collection scams

Dealing with debt collection issues can be challenging—especially when you’re not sure if the person you’re being contacted by is a legitimate debt collector or someone trying to scam you. This video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the United States shares useful tips on spotting debt collection scams and protecting yourself from scammers.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s continuing effort to encourage saving at tax time is now part of a larger Bureau initiative to support people in building liquid savings. The new initiative is called Start Small, Save Up. The vision for Start Small, Save Up is to increase people’s financial well-being through education, partnerships, research, and policy or regulatory improvements that increase people's opportunities to save and empower them to realize their personal savings goals.

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being.



Money Circle toolkit

Financial decisions are influenced by our own personal feelings and attitudes around money, and by the feelings, attitudes, and actions by our family and friends. This CFPB toolkit offers financial education practitioners three tools (Money Choices, Money Styles, and Money Network), each with a brief, interactive exercise, to initiate conversations about the feelings and personal relationships that shape financial choices.



Managing spending: Ideas for financial educators

As financial educators know, making day-to-day decisions on spending money is one of the biggest challenges consumers face in keeping their financial lives in order. Many people find it difficult to manage their household finances on a daily basis, let alone over the long term.

This brief from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection identifies a few ideas to explore causes of over-spending and ideas to help prevent it. 



Consumer Insights on Managing Spending

The CFPB conducted research on consumer challenges in tracking spending and keeping to a budget. The research found that consumers aspire to manage their spending but for many reasons, many consumers spend more than intended and sometimes have\ difficulty in staying within their budgets. In addition, we found that although most people would like to use budgets and plans, they often don’t use them to guide spending decisions in the moment.

Budgeting and tracking spending are often considered to be overwhelming or too much of a hassle, and even those consumers who have a budget generally do not benchmark their spending to their budget frequently or regularly.



Effective financial education: Five principles and how to use them

Because of the key role that financial education can play in people’s lives, the CFPB has conducted research over its first five years into what makes financial education effective for consumers. What do we mean by “effective?” It does not just mean training that helps people perform better on a test of financial facts. It means equipping consumers to understand the financial marketplace and make sound financial choices in pursuit of their life goals.

 

 



Your Money, Your Goals: Focus on People with Disabilities

This is a companion guide to the 'Your Money, Your Goals' curriculum by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the United States. This guide- Your Money, Your Goals: Focus on People with Disabilities—contains information, tips, and tools based on the insights from people with disabilities and from organizations that serve the disability community. It is based on the core philosophy that everyone has the right to control their money and make their own financial decisions.

Its specialized information and tools equip staff and volunteers to adapt training on and use of the toolkit and other resources to meet the needs of people with disabilities. It also includes information and tools to enable staff and volunteers to choose accessible locations, develop appropriate and considerate training activities, and plan to provide accommodations for diverse learning styles and other needs.

 



CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale Questionnaire


A financial well-being questionnaire developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 




Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Data Point: Becoming Credit Viable


Very little is known about the number or characteristics of credit
invisibles or consumers with unscored credit records.

This Data Point documents the results of a research project undertaken by Staff in the Office of Research of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to better understand how many consumers are either credit invisible or have unscored credit records and what the demographic characteristics of such consumers are.




Financial well-being in America


There is wide variation in how people in the U.S. feel about their financial well-being. This report presents findings from a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the distribution of financial well-being scores for the U.S. adult population overall and for selected subgroups defined by these additional measures. These descriptive findings provide insight into which subgroups are faring relatively well and which ones are facing greater financial challenges.




Saving for financial shocks and emergencies

Consumer Experiences with Debt Collection – Findings from the CFPB’s Survey of Consumer Views on Debt

Financial wellness at work – A review of promising practices and policies

Managing cash flow and bill payments

Navigating the Market – A comparison of spending on financial education and financial marketing

Transforming the Financial Lives of a Generation of Young Americans

Organizing and managing finances

Helpful shortcuts for credit card use: Ideas for financial educators


To test out the impact of rules of thumb in helping consumers decrease their credit card debt, the CFPB
commissioned a rigorous study of two financial rules of thumb on consumers with revolving credit card debt. We created two new guidelines aimed at aiding consumers to decrease their revolving credit card debt: Don’t swipe the small stuff – Use cash when it’s under $20; Credit keeps charging – It adds approximately 20% to the total.


Consumer Voices on Financial Rules to Live By

My spending rule to live by

Financial Planning Worksheet: My New Money Goal

Financial Literacy Annual Report

SAVED: Five steps for making financial decisions

Building blocks to help youth achieve financial capability: A new model and recommendations

Building blocks to help youth achieve financial capability: Report brief

My credit rule to live by

Financial well-being: What it means and how to help

My savings rule to live by

Financial coaching – A strategy to improve financial well-being. Research Brief.

Implementing financial coaching: Implications for practitioners. Practitioner Brief

Increasing saving at tax time and promising practices for the field

Your Money, Your Goals: Focus on Native Communities

Money Smart for Older Adults

How the CFPB is Proposing to Regulate the Small Dollar Lending Industry. Understanding and Supporting the Payday Lending Rules.

Your Money, Your Goals: A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for social service programs

Your Money, Your Goals: A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for community volunteers (Intro)

Your Money, Your Goals: A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for community volunteers

The goal of the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit is to make it easier for volunteers, lay counselors and workers, mentors, and coaches to help the people they serve become more financially empowered. Module 1-2: Setting goals, saving, and planning. Module 3-5: Managing income and spending money. Module 6-7: Debt and credit reports. Module 8: Money services, cards, accounts, and loans. Module 9: Protecting your money.



Data Point: Credit Invisibles

Empowering low income and economically vulnerable consumers

Rigorous evaluation of financial capability strategies – Why, when and how

Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Building financial capability in youth employment programs: Insights from a roundtable with practitioners

Financial Literacy Annual Report

Supplemental findings on payday, payday installment, and vehicle title loans, and deposit advance products

Financial well-being: the goal of financial education

Measuring financial well-being – A guide to using the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale