Our colleagues at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have, like us, a keen interest in financial education. Over its first five years of existence, the CFPB conducted research into what makes financial education effective. Their findings have been distilled into five principles that financial educators, financial coaches, and other practitioners can use to help drive financial action and well-being. these principles are underpinned by the CFPB’s own working definition of “Effective Financial Education”:
“Effective financial education means helping consumers as they work to bridge the gap between their knowledge, their intentions, and the actions they take. It means deploying a wide range of strategies that help consumers to achieve the ultimate goal of financial education: financial well-being.”
The five principles for effective adult financial education are:
- Know the individuals and families receiving financial education
- Provide actionable, relevant, and timely information
- Improve key financial skills
- Build on motivation
- Make it easy to make good decisions and follow-through
CFPB offers these principles as a path forward for effective financial education, in its many different forms. The five principles are intended to build on insights about how people make financial decisions, based on many fields of study, and on what CFPB has learned about consumers’ own experiences in the financial marketplace.
The Direct Express® Financial Education Center, available to Direct Express® cardholders, matches closely with CFPB’s principles. It is tailored to provide cardholders with up-to-date tools, knowledge, and motivation necessary to improve their key financial skills and make informed financial decisions. A library of topics is organized into short micro-learning moments within broader topic areas such as budgeting and saving, privacy and security and elder financial fraud prevention.
For more on the CFPB’s report: