Americans Need More Financial Education, Consumer Watchdog Says

November 22, 2013
NBC News  

A new study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that the U.S. financial services industry spends about $17 billion a year to market products to consumers, while only about $670 million dollars is spent each year on financial education. “When consumers receive the vast majority of their financial information from companies that are trying to promote an image or sell products, consumers have very little unbiased information,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said in a statement.

Young people who make financial mistakes could see serious and long-lasting repercussions, which makes it vital for them to receive a proper financial education. Earlier this year, a survey found that nearly 63 percent of consumers over age 18 believe that U.S. children learn little to nothing about personal finance. Only 14 states require schools to offer courses in personal finance, and only 22 require a high-school course in economics, according to the Council for Economic Education. Teens and young adults who are better educated about finances are more likely to save money and pay their credit card balances in full every month, according to Adam Levin of

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