A Jewel of Financial Tools
In today’s age of information abundance, it’s often said that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. This truth means that it can be difficult to find accurate answers to some of your most important questions, like those related to your finances. Fortunately, an agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exists to help protect the interests of financial consumers. Their focus is to establish an easy and effective way to report fraud or other deceptive financial acts that occur in the Client’s life and to provide action to resolve the issue and make sure steps have been implemented for it not to happen again. The CFPB achieves action through the process of empowerment, enforcement and education. For those looking for trusted financial information, the CFPB has a variety of reliable tools and resources available on their website related to topics like getting an auto loan, owning a home, information for students, and more. We highlight just a few of these tools below and we encourage you to explore the CFPB website and share these tools with those who struggle to believe what they read on the internet.
Paying for College
Conversations about the financial investment of a college education grow more popular year-after-year. Whether you are applying to schools, currently attending school, or paying back your student loans, the CFPB has valuable tools to help you make an informed decision about your education.
- Student Financial Guides
- Here you will find detailed information to help you decide which student loan options best fit your needs. The page offers answers to key loan questions, a comparison of the risks and benefits related to federal and private loans, and tips for filling out your FAFSA form.
- Compare Financial Aid Offers
- For those students torn between their favorite two or three schools, this tool can help provide some clarity regarding the financial impact of their decision. In an incredibly easy to follow format, this tool allows users to compare college costs and financial aid offers for up to three different schools. The tool allows you to view a full breakdown of the cost of attendance for each school and to enter any grant, scholarship, or loan information to help you understand your yearly costs. Depending on your financial aid institution, you may be provided with a document that you can upload into the tool to provide an even more accurate picture of your costs. Finally, the tool also shares a chart of potential debt at graduation and estimated monthly payment calculation. This tool brilliantly captures the factors related to a student’s college investment to help them make an educated decision.
- Repay Student Debt
- While graduation and entering the job market can be overwhelming, it can become even more stressful when a new grad begins receiving loan repayment notifications. When it comes to loan repayment, there are often several different options for student to consider. This tool asks the user a few simple questions regarding their situation to help direct them to information applicable to their repayment needs.
Getting an Auto Loan
Once you have decided on the car that’s right for you, purchasing the car should be exciting, not stressful! The CFPB provides useful worksheets and clever tips to help a consumer avoid common stressors and mistakes related to an auto loan.
- Auto Loan Worksheet
- Similar to the tool to help one compare the costs of different colleges, this worksheet helps a consumer compare different auto loans to help you make an educated decision. The worksheet outlines upfront costs, how much you need to borrow, the cost of the loan over its lifetime, and the total cost of the purchase. In addition to providing space to compare two different loan options, the sheet also shares an example calculation to simplify the math involved in estimating your costs.
- Take Control Of Your Auto Loan
- In this section, the CFPB proves their dedication to empowering and educating consumers on important financial decisions. The site provides a wealth of knowledge topics including plan to shop for your auto loan, learn to explore loan choices, know what is negotiable, and understand how to close the deal.
Know Before You Owe: Mortgages
There’s no doubt that the mortgage process can be complex and confusing. As such, the CFPB has a focused mortgage initiative to provide resources to consumers and professionals to make the process as easy as possible.
- Making the Mortgage Process Easier
- The CFPB is the government agency created out of the Dodd-Frank Act. As part of the law, the CFPB was required to simplify the existing federal mortgage disclosures to make them easier for borrowers and lenders to understand and explain. The CFPB shares a two-minute video detailing how their changes have made the process easier for consumers.
- Tools and Resources
- In addition to the disclosures, the CFPB provides tools and resources to help a consumer understand the mortgage process; these tools include a sample loan estimate, sample closing disclosure, a home loan toolkit, and information on owning a home. There are also guides for mortgage and real estate professionals to empower them to educate their Clients on the complex topic.
- New Mortgage Disclosures and Timeline
- This page displays a full, interactive timeline detailing the work completed, laws passed, and efforts made to create the new mortgage disclosures.
Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Just as Yeske Buie feels strongly about the importance of financial literacy for youth, so does the CFPB and as such, they provide a variety of resources to help parents build a foundation for a child’s long term financial success.
- The CFPB shares tools, worksheets, and conversation starters for various age groups to help parents teach financial concepts to their children.
Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Educational Resources
In addition to the tools and resources above, the CFPB website has a page dedicated to answering your important finance related questions. Instead of turning to Siri, Cortana, or Google, we encourage you to explore the CFPB website or to contact us for clear and accurate information.
- Ask CFPB has answers to dozens of questions on the following topics:
- Auto Loans
- Bank Accounts and Service
- Credit Cards
- Credit Reports and Scores
- Debt Collection
- Families and Money
- Money Transfers
- Payday Loans
- Prepared Cards
- Student Loans