Press Releases

Congressman David Scott Introduces Legislation to Increase Consumer Financial Education

Today, Congressman David Scott (GA-13), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced H.R. 9272, the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act, bipartisan legislation committed to providing consumers with the necessary resources to achieve their financial goals and generate economic stability.

“Today, far too many Americans struggle with decisions around financial planning, saving, and investing. This lack of basic financial education often leaves consumers vulnerable to potentially avoidable financial pitfalls,” said Congressman Scott. “My bill will allocate vital financial education resources, thus allowing consumers to make better informed decisions regarding their personal finances while improving the overall financial health and well-being of their families.”

The Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act would allow for a portion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Civil Penalty Fund to be used for financial education programs in schools, libraries, non-profits, and other similar organizations. Programs that educate consumers about important topics like preparing for homeownership, savings accounts, retirement, tax planning, and starting a business with a proven record of success. Funds would provide for both the instruction of financial education, as well as the instruction of financial education trainers.

Full text of the bill can be accessed HERE.

The bill has been endorsed by: Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Credit Builders Alliance (CBA), National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), National Disability Institute (NDI), National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), National NeighborWorks Association, and Operation Hope

"LISC thanks Representatives Scott, Loudermilk, Beatty, Hill, and Dean for introducing the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act," said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President of Policy at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). "The legislation reflects a bipartisan commitment to advancing a more inclusive financial system. By supporting the infrastructure on the ground that interacts with consumers daily and provides culturally and linguistically accessible financial education and counseling, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help to support the financial security of millions across the nation. "

“On behalf of our 611 members, the Credit Builders Alliance applauds the introduction of the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act that builds on proven statewide models,” said Dara Duguay, CEO of Credit Builders Alliance. “By using a small percentage of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund, we can directly support the delivery of high-quality financial counseling and guidance to individuals and families, we can ensure help to empower more consumers with the resources and tools that foster financial stability.

“The National NeighborWorks Association, representing 235 NeighborWorks America chartered organizations in every state in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, supports the bipartisan Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act,” stated Lou Tisler, Executive Director of National NeighborWorks Association. “The ability to access additional resources from the Civil Penalty Fund to expand support for financial education and counseling services would allow our members to provide much-needed services and programs to their communities nationwide.  We applaud the continued efforts of Representatives Beatty, Dean, Hill, Loudermilk and Scott to work together to address national issues.”

“Access to financial services and “credit invisibility” are among the barriers that limit the wealth-building of Latinos. Culturally and linguistically inclusive financial capability programs that help diverse consumers build credit history, accumulate savings, and access sound financial products are crucial for unlocking their economic potential,“ said Clarinda Landeros, Director of Public Policy at the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. “We applaud the introduction of the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act, legislation that promotes consumer education and supports Community-based nonprofit organizations with a track record of providing high-quality financial capability programs.”

“We applaud the reintroduction of the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act,” said Rachael DeLeon, Executive Director of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE). “Passing this bill would allow the CFPB to provide funding to qualified nonprofit organizations to build and maintain high-quality financial counseling and education programming. As the certification partner for the CFPB’s 2015 Financial Coaching Initiative, we have seen firsthand the impact of integrating high-quality, culturally competent financial counseling and coaching services directly within communities. It’s programs like these that break down barriers and ensure that trusted financial counseling and education is available to all people – regardless of income or background. Financial counselors, like AFC professionals, can help Americans overcome a financial crisis; get out of debt; grow savings; navigate a major life change; avoid foreclosure; and build a sound financial foundation for long-term financial wellbeing. This bill is an important step in stabilizing, supporting, and sustaining the economic stability of millions of Americans.”

“This change would significantly improve financial outcomes for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are more than three times more likely to be unbanked than individuals without disabilities. The complexity of public benefits eligibility with income and asset limits requires customized financial counseling on an individualized basis to improve informed financial decision-making,” said Thomas Foley, Executive Director of the National Disability Institute. “The use by the CFPB of the Civil Penalty Fund would expand community nonprofit capacity urgently needed today to improve credit scores and access to credit, manage debt more effectively and improve knowledge, understanding, and use of safe and responsible financial products by individuals with disabilities. National Disability Institute strongly supports the bipartisan reintroduction of the Consumer Financial Education and Empowerment Act.”