Published — April 13, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Need financial advice? Feds have 50 different financial literacy programs

Steve Rhodes/flickr


Where can a consumer find information on financial decision-making? It turns out the federal government has more than 50 financial literacy programs spread across 20 different agencies.

The Government Accountability Office said the multitude of programs and administrators increased the likelihood for fragmentation and duplication. Even if the intent was to let each agency focus its financial literacy programs on a specific population, it opens the door for inefficiency, redundancy and lack of coordination.

For example, the Dodd-Frank Act established a financial education office within the newly created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to help consumers get information on financial counseling, long-term savings strategies and credit products. But these duties are very similar to an already existing agency, the Office of Financial Education and Financial Access, at the Department of Treasury.

Treasury also acknowledged that there is no estimate of the total federal spending for financial education programs.

Information about the effectiveness of these programs and strategies is almost non-existent, GAO said. Some federal programs, like the FDIC’s Money Smart, include an evaluation component as part of the program, but many do not.

Despite the challenges, GAO emphasized the need for continued financial education.

“The recent financial crisis revealed that many borrowers likely did not fully understand the risks associated with alternative mortgage products, resulting in substantial increases in defaults and foreclosures that continue to expose borrowers to financial risk and be a drag on the economy today,” the GAO report said.

FAST FACT: Many Americans lack money-managing basics. A 2010 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling revealed that one-third of American are not saving for retirement, and a majority of consumers do not even have a budget.

Read more in Business

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
linksys ac1750 reviewinstall itunes on windows 7Bob FrankstonLinda GordonET69 Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
sam fetters
sam fetters

What do AT&T, Verizon and Crown Castle International Corp have in common? The largest institutional shareholders of each includes firms like: Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street (the “Big Three”), Invesco, Fidelity (FMR), JP Morgan, Wellington Management, Geode, T Rowe Price, Bank of America, and other of the largest money-management and investment firms, whom operate collaboratively (even comprising the largest shareholders of each other), forming virtual monopolies amongst the largest “competing” corporations, in most every single industry, via large share holdings. (source = These are the same firms whom also largely own the third largest telecom, T-Mobile. The own the largest… Read more »

Jello Beyonce
Jello Beyonce

I’ve a theory that the supposed “Trade Wars” and “sanctions” and political/military strife going on between the U.S., China, Russia, etc. are merely distractions, serving to divert attention away from the growing authoritarianism and Oligarchic control spreading across the globe. “Nationalism” is being used as a propagandist covert means of continued increasing Globalism. As this article states: “A Russian woman stood up to speak at one of these public meetings, and she said that when she lived in Russia, the government slam dunked her and she had no say,” King said. “Now she lives in the United States of America,… Read more »


Marx was right about capitalism . Capital gets more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. There is no way out of this greed. We need socialism!

Linda Gordon
Linda Gordon

5g is a kill grid. The depployment of this weapon is an act of terroism genocide and ecocide. The marketers need to be jailed as terrorists.

Bob Frankston

The real issue with 5G is that it’s an attempt to roll back the Internet and return to the telecom of the 1970s when the phone company controlled all.

install itunes on windows 7

I have read the post and it is really helpful as I have got to know about the 5G wireless cities which are accepting the technology and other cities which are rejecting it.

linksys ac1750 review

Controvery is the name of the game.