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Is it a Good Idea to Take Financial Advice from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

By now, just about everyone has heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB.) This bureau has been given the task to help protect United States consumers from illegal financial dealings and other misdoings. However, the CFPB has been on a bit of a roll lately. With a nearly limitless budget and the backing of the Obama administration, it seems that this agency is out to spread its influence as much as it can. Case in point – the CFPB recently put together a tool that they plan on using to help measure the financial standing of Americans. They say that they will then be able to better assist Americans with their finances. According to the head of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, “A key part of our mission is providing resources that aid and empower people to lead stable and healthy financial lives. Our financial well-being tool will give financial educators an important means by which to evaluate and support consumers’ financial health.” Earlier this month, the CFPB put out a report that defines their idea of financial well-being. This report draws on information that was obtained via consumer interviews, in-house research and consulting sessions with financial educators.  According to the report financial well-being is, “a state of being wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, can feel secure in their financial future, and is able to make choices that allow them to enjoy life.” The CFPB’s tool includes a list of 10 questions that can be used by financial educators when they are working with clients. According to the CFPB, the way that people answer these questions indicates how well off they are financially. The CFPB has created a scale that includes four essential elements that comprise financial well-being. Here are the four elements that are used in the scale: Present day financial security – This is the element that is focused on whether or not people feel like they are in control of their daily and monthly finances. Future financial security – This element is based upon how consumers feel about their ability to… Read More