Webinar: Your Money Your Goals Toolkit

Good afternoon and thank you for standing
by. As a reminder, your lines have been placed on a listen only mode until the question and
answer segment of today’s conference call. This call is being recorded, if you have any
objections you may disconnect at this time. I would now like to turn the call over to
Irene Skricki. Thank you, you may begin. Great, thanks so much. So I’m Irene Skricki
with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Financial Education, and I’m
joined today by our speaker, Patty Avery from the Office of Financial Empowerment. I am
going to start off quickly with our standard disclaimer that this is not legal guidance
or regulatory guidance and it is opinions and views are those of the speakers. So most of you are probably familiar with
CFPB and I think a lot of you are members of or have joined FinEx and know a lot about
what we do. But I’d just note that the CFPB, again as the new federal agency on the block
who is committed to consumer – helping consumer finance markets work by consistently and fairly
enforcing consumer protection rules and empowering consumers to take more control of their financial
lives. So we both educate consumers, enforce and supervise a number of financial institutions
and providers, and study both markets consumer decision making to better understand how consumer
finance markets are working. Both Patty and I represent the consumer facing
side of the CFPB, the Consumer Education and Engagement Division which has six units. I
am in the Finance Education office, the one that’s highlighted in blue on the slide, for
those who are looking at the slide. But I have put in bold Financial Empowerment because
today we’re joined by Financial Empowerment Unit, they work on economically disadvantaged
consumers. And I’ll just get my little slide over here.
And for those of you who have been on FinEx webinars before, I always just say a couple
of words about FinEx, especially for anyone who’s new. But the CFPB Financial Education Exchange
is a way for us at the CFPB to communicate our tools and resources and research findings
out to the world of financial education and to learn back from all of you through different
settings, and also to help communication across the field. And so we have a number of difference
activities including webinars, in person meetings and assorted tools and resources you can access. Probably most of you are already – have already
joined, but again to join you email our inbox. As I mentioned, one of the things we do is
regular webinars, and so today’s is obviously under one of your goals which is to note a
couple of upcoming ones. We have a webinar on Tax Time Savings coming
up on September 24, Thursday afternoon. And then in October on the 22nd we have Student
Loan Repayment. We’ve been getting lots and lots of questions about different student
loan repayment policies, tools, options. I know a lot of folks are facing that with their
clients are facing that issue. And so we have a webinar with someone from our Office of
Students coming up then. And we will have more webinars coming, to be announced soon. And then I’ll just note, as I always tell
folks, we do have an inventory on our Web site. You can both print it out, you can look
at it online. It has all of the tools and resources the Bureau has available for free,
open access to the – to financial educators. We’re about to update it so very soon there
will be a version that has some additional things that have come out in the last few
months. So that’s always a resources for you. And
you can find it, along with other things, at the Adult Financial Education portion of
our Web site, consumerfinance.gov/adult-financial-education. Not the catchiest, but that will get you to
this inventory and some other things. And then I always make a quick plug for the
Financial Education Discussion Group on LinkedIn that we run. I moderate that group and it’s
a place for – where the Bureau puts up its latest tools and resources, but also where
others, other organizations can do that. So any of you can put things up or post questions. So I encourage folks to join that. You can
also see how to join that, the link is also on the Adult Financial Education page. So
I would encourage everyone to join that. And now we will turn to the content of the
webinar. I’ll say one thing, as the operator mentioned at the beginning we will be doing
spoken questions at the end of the presentation. But if you have any questions during the presentation,
at the top of your screen if you’re on the webinar part of this there is a little Q&A
icon. If you click on that you can type in a question and I will be monitoring that.
So if anything – if you ask anything, you know clarifying questions during the webinar,
I can stop Patty and ask them directly of her. Otherwise again, we will open for questions
generally at the end. So I will now turn this over to Patty Avery
with the Office of Financial Empowerment. Thanks Irene. So before we begin discussing
your money or goals I wanted to talk a little bit about how our office sees financial empowerment.
As the first Federal Office of Financial Empowerment we spent a lot of time digging in and working
to understand, “What is financial empowerment and what distinguishes it from financial education
and financial literacy, and some of the other terms that we all use?” As financial educators, obviously you know
that it’s financial education that leads to financial literacy. And without that foundation
of basic knowledge and basic understanding of how products work, of how personal money
management works, people can’t operate effectively in today’s economy. But for us then, the link between financial
literacy and financial empowerment is building the practical skills and access. For us then
that access is not just access to financial products, but it’s also access to financial
counseling, to deeper financial – to personal financial management services that our population,
low income and economically disadvantaged people, may not have access to. So for us financial empowerment is the result
of that undergirding base of financial literacy plus the skills that they need to put that
knowledge to work and access to the products that would allow them to put that knowledge
to work, and that results in financial empowerment. We built Your Money, Your Goals because believed
that intermediaries, frontline staff in Social Services organizations, in legal aid organizations,
volunteers who served in those organizations or perhaps in faith communities or civic organizations,
in many cases they are meeting with these low income and economically disadvantaged
individuals and in many cases they’ve built trust. They’ve built a trusted relationship because
in part of the services they’ve been able to provide, and in many cases because they
see people more than once, and over time then they come to build a relationship that engenders
that trust. And we believe that that combination of access for these low income and economically
vulnerable consumers, and trust, could result in some new and potentially unexpected opportunities
for financial empowerment. Next slide. Lost my cursor for – I really
lost my cursor. Sorry. So your Money, Your Goals is a suite of toolkits, as I just alluded
to. We now have not only Your Money Your Goals for Social Services but this spring we released
for legal aid organizations, community volunteers and for workers. It’s a toolkit, not a curriculum. And I can’t
stress that enough. We built it to be accessed in bits and pieces. We built it to help frontline
staff and volunteers identify the content that the individual they’re serving may need
right at that moment and be able to go to that discreet bit of content or set of tools
that can meet what the client or individual believes is their most pressing need at that
time. And then, if later they have an opportunity
to see them again, then they can identify, “Okay, where do we go from here?” But it’s
not meant to be a curriculum. We’ll go through and you’ll see the numbering of the modules,
but that isn’t met to imply that you begin with the first content module and work your
way through. So we built it to be modular. And it is available
for download at our Web site in English and Spanish. And as of just a couple of weeks
ago now all of the versions are available in Spanish at our Web site. Next slide, here’s
the page where you can download Your Money Your Goals. And there are links you see to
the Social Services version, volunteers, legal aid and workers. And for each of the toolkits you’ll find an
Implementation Guide, a guide to building a local referral guide, as well as all of
the slides that you would need to train frontline staff or volunteers — everything that you
need, in short is there. The training slides are complete with speaker notes. And we have
it out there in PowerPoint so that you again, can pick and choose and use only the slides
that are relevant for that audience. Next. And actually before we go to the next slide,
this is Irene, I just want to note I know there’s always some folks who have trouble
accessing the webinar for assorted system compatibility issues. So those of you who aren’t able to get in
you can listen to this audio, presumably if you can hear me now you are listening, and
then we do record the webinar so you can watch the whole thing on YouTube in a couple of
weeks. So I just want to note that for anyone who may be on we’ll try to, you know, verbalize
what’s on the screen to the extent we can, and then you can also watch it later. All right, go to the next slide. Before we go into the content I just wanted
to give you a little bit of background about how we built Your Money Your Goals. As you
can see on the slide we began with a field scan and then moved into a field test with
1400 frontline staff. We launched the Social Services version last summer. And this list of ten organizations at the
side are – have been our partners in this national rollout, they each set a goal of
training at least 500 frontline staff. And through the field tests and through these
organizations we’ve reached really the full range of Social Services, everything from
(TANF) and homeless services to Head Start and school social workers, (LIHEAP) clients,
emergency services clients, some of the programs that have pregnancy programs and early childhood
have incorporated it, community health centers, fatherhood, refugee and reentry programs. So we have reached the full breadth of case
management services with Your Money Your Goals. And because again, because it’s a toolkit
not a curriculum, each of these programs that are picking it up have been able to identify
the specific content and tools that are most relevant to the people that they serve. Great. And actually Patty, there’s one emailed
question I’ll ask at this point because it’s relevant to the slide you just said, “Do we
offer social workers with continuing education credits?” We’re not doing that at this time, but we
have – in some instances we know especially actually within legal aid, they have been
able in their trainings to get continuing education credits. So we’re looking at how
we can assist local organizations by providing them with information that they can share.
If you’re interested in pursuing training we’d love to hear from you if that’s something
that you’re interested in working on for your community trainings. Then just to talk a little bit about how we’ve
organized Your Money Your Goals, there are two main sections to the toolkit; the Introductory
section is designed for the user and walks them through just understanding what it is
and why we built it; then in the Assessing the Situation module we’ll talk a little bit
about the tools that are there in a few minutes. We look at how do you start this conversation
we found in the field scan that where programs were taking place around the country that
equipped frontline staff with basic financial information they sometimes left saying, “Well
that’s great information but this subject is so taboo I just don’t know how to bring
it up.” And so we’ve made a point of including that
in both the toolkit and the training. Then we have a module on emotional and cultural
influences on money decisions. And then some practical tips on using the toolkit. Then we move into the content modules. And
as I said, “When you look at this list you’ll see it really is soup to nuts personal money
management.” And again, and we’ll go through each module briefly. As we go through this webinar you’ll get a
chance to kind of, I always call it “speed-dating the toolkit,” just so that you get a sense
of what’s in each module, everything from setting goals and savings and managing income
and benefits and paying your bills, Getting Through the Month is a cash flow budgeting
module, data and credit reports and scores, financial products, and very importantly because
we are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, protecting your money. The toolkit is designed to be client driven.
And the client assessment My Money Picture actually provides a series of questions, and
their – the clients’ responses then build a roadmap to the relevant content and tools.
Next slide. Each module then begins with information that’s
written at about a 6th grade level and is designed to provide you with facts that you
can share with basic information that you can share. And then at the end of each module,
next slide, are groups of tools that are relevant to that topic. In this case, this is a tool
on selecting financial services products and providers. So – and we begin from the clients’ perspective,
“What is it that you want to accomplish first?” And then based on what it is they want to
do, you’ll see the table then on the next page actually directs you to places where
you could get that product and the types of products that could meet that need. So now we’ll move into an overview of the
toolkit. And again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to type them into the Q&A box
as we go along. So I mentioned the module on Assessing the
Situation. In this module we have not only the assessment for clients that we showed
you, My Money Picture, but there’s also an assessment for the frontline staff or the
volunteers that they can take to get a sense of their level of comfort with certain financial
topics. It’s not an assessment that has you calculate
how much this APR would result in in your monthly payments, it’s more “Have you ever
used this type of product,” or “How much do you feel like you know about X, Y or Z?” And
so based on again, just like the client survey it allows users to self-diagnose and understand
which parts of the toolkit they might want to dive into for themselves to build their
own financial empowerment. The next module, Starting the Conversation,
as I said in the training we actually have instances where people can work in triads
and practice using the Client Assessment to get a better sense of how to start the conversation.
Slide – if you can go to the next slide, in the toolkit we actually give some examples
of things that they might hear as they’re working with clients and giving examples of
how they can weave these topics into their existing conversations. Our goal with Your Money Your Goals is not
to make every frontline staff or volunteer a financial counselor. Financial counselors
are trained, and in many cases credentialed. And we don’t believe that Your Money Your
Goals equips them for that. What it equips them to do is start the money conversation
with the people that they serve and take advantage of those natural moments in their interactions
with clients or other people that they’re serving to weave this in. I, before I came to the Bureau, worked for
a bank and we worked hard at teaching our employees to cross-sell products. And like
anytime you go to a fast food restaurant, what do you get that – you always get that
question, “Would you like fries with that,” or “Would you like a drink with that.” So our goal is to teach frontline staff and
volunteers to cross-sell financial empowerment, and where it’s appropriate make a referral,
and where it’s appropriate provide people the tools to take the first step towards financial
empowerment. You know what Patty, I just want to add something
for the audience, that what I’ve heard from people using it, and while it’s not intended
for necessarily a financial educator as a curriculum, many financial educators I’ve
talked to have said, “I use the tools in it even though I, you know I know how to have
a money conversation.” Some of the actual worksheets and tools are really helpful, even
for someone who is a financial counselor. So it’s – I think it’s a useful, you know,
thing to share even with people who are, you know, beyond the Social Services world. Yes, absolutely. For any of us, before I came
to the Bureau I was a volunteer financial coach and frankly I kept an eye on that as
we were building this thing, “I could have used this tool with that person that I served.”
And so yes, it really is multipurpose. Then we move into a module on emotional and
cultural influences on money decisions. There’s actually an exercise at the beginning of the
training called Money and Me that gets people brainstorming in groups around what comes
to mind when you hear the word money. And it’s a delightful exercise. I always hear
people singing or joking and they’re all writing as fast as they can because it’s a competition.
It’s a great way to start the training. And then we take their answers and say, “Well
you know, all money is is any commonly accepted medium of exchange.” So how did we get from
that simple thing, “What money is,” to all of these associations? And then we dive a
little deeper and say, “Where do they come from,” and “What does that mean when you talk
to clients?” And so we want to help people step back and
remember that they bring their own little suitcase of attitudes and experiences with
money with them as they sit down to talk with their clients or the people that they serve
in helping them remember that those individuals may come from a completely different perspective.
They may have a completely different set of things in their money suitcase. Then the module on using the toolkit, next
slide, contains a checklist that you can use to track. If it’s a situation where you’re
seeing someone more than once, or in the case of the workers version meeting with groups
of workers more than once it just provides a place that you can track the date that you
shared that information and make some notes if you – if it’s appropriate. In every training we place a great emphasis
on resource and referral partners. Because as I said, “The goal is not to make these
frontline staff into financial counselors.” And we don’t want anyone to leave with the
impression that having completed a one-day Your Money Your Goals training sets them up
to put an extra card on their desk that says their a financial counselor. So in the training, next slide, we ask some
questions like this, “Well hold on, what if your client has said they’re thinking about
bankruptcy or they’re facing eviction or foreclosure, or they’re in danger of having their car repossessed?”
What would you do then? Who could you send them to? And as I said, “At the Web site with each
toolkit has a PDF Guide to Building a Local Referral Guide.” So we encourage trainers
that if there’s not a local financial empowerment referral guide available that they take the
time and build out that guide. It provides a series of questions that you can ask potential
referral sources that will help you identify unbiased providers who also are doing it for
the right reasons and won’t attempt to sell your client something along the way. Then we move into the content modules, the
actual client facing modules. They’re a little bit different in Legal Aid. These modules
are actually written to the legal aid attorney or pro bono attorney, but the tools are still
client facing. In the other versions we’ve written it in
terms of you, you know, “When you do this, this is what can happen,” or “Debt is when
you owe someone money.” So they’re designed in a way that as I said, “Will educate the
user, but also provides them information that if they feel it’s appropriate they can run
off a few pages and share them directly with the client.” The first module is on setting goals. And
we take the approach of helping people move from these vague hopes and wants and dreams
that we all have to smart goals, to really setting a solid goal of, for example how much
they need to save if they want to buy a new TV, and how soon they want to buy it, or if
their goal is paying down debt, over how many months do they want to pay down how much debt? And in that module you’ll find tools. There’s
a goalsetting tool that really helps people narrow down into those goals and identify
short-term and long-term goals. There are tools that then help them understand “What
if there’s other information that I need?” Maybe it isn’t necessarily a hard dollar goal,
but they recognize that even before they can get started they need to gather more information.
So they can jot those types of things down. There are – there’s also information in that
module on large purchases; thinking about things like buying a car and how do you break
down that decision? The next module on saving for the unexpected
emergencies and goals. We’ve placed our emphasis in this module specifically on emergency savings.
Because for our population, low income and economically vulnerable individuals, having
a few hundred dollars in emergency savings is absolutely essential to building any degree
of financial stability. So in that module, the next slide is an example
that’s in the toolkit and we go over in the training, showing for example that if you
hadn’t been planning on it but you suddenly have to replace the spark plugs in your car,
well if you have emergency savings it won’t cost you any additional time or money, you’ll
just have to replenish your emergency savings. But if you have to put it on a credit card
or if you take a payday loan to pay for it, how much could it cost you? And in the training
this is an activity that’s done in pairs or triads as they work through the chart and
begin to get an understanding of that. We also have a tool on benefits and asset
limits because many individuals in the population that we serve do receive federal benefits
or state benefits. And we want to insure that they have up-to-date concrete information
because we do know that many people only have a vague notion of the asset limit in the programs
in which they participate. And so we ask that trainers update this. It can even be an activity in the training
that together you group source this and write down what you – what the asset limits are
in those programs in your state. Asset limits on – in many cases, for example
you’ll see on this slide 410 is for temporary assistance for needy families. What we know
is that it ranges from $1000 to $3000 in most states that people can’t have countable assets.
Now those vary from state to state. And this is why it’s so important to have specific
information. But – or SSI, people who are on basically
what we, in vernacular, call disability. And people who receive disability for example,
can have $2000 in the bank if they’re single. So if they cross that limit then they’re at
risk of having their benefit reduced. And so this is where asset limits come into play. And especially when you’re working with low
income populations on setting savings goals, they have a lot of concerns that they don’t
want to unexpectedly trigger losing their benefits. So that’s why we’ve included this
tool. In the next module we look at income. We take
the approach in the toolkit of looking at what comes into the household and then what
goes out. In the Income module we spend time talking about things like regular income and
irregular income. So you can just click through. It doesn’t… It should go forward. Okay, well if it’s not
going forward. But we talk about in the module understanding – because for many low wage
workers, their incomes are highly variable. They’re – they may get 20 hours one week and
30 the next. And so we want to help people begin to track their income so that they can
understand on average what’s coming into their household. We also talk about the role of benefits and
wage garnishments and what can happen to your income, and steps that you can take if you
receive a notice that your wages will be garnished. And… So that’s what would have been on the slide
if the – if the (unintelligible) was working for this particular slide. Then on the next slide we have a tool that
helps people analyze the risks and benefits of, for example receiving their pay or their
benefits through these different mechanisms. Our goal is not to tell people, “The best
thing for you to do is X.” You know, “The best thing for you to do is
go open a checking account if your employer has said that you need direct deposit.” Because
for some individuals, a checking account, they may not believe that a checking account
is the right solution for them or they may have had one and had a bad experience and
feel skittish about opening another one. So we want people to understand the options
that they do have, and understand basically the pros and cons, the risks and benefits,
of each of these methods of receiving their income and benefits, if they’re given a choice
in the matter. Then we move into the Spending module; where
the money goes. And this has been – in each training that we’ve done it’s a very popular
part of the training. You can go to the next slide. It looks like we might have another
one that doesn’t want to click. There we go. We talk about needs, wants and
obligations. And there’s a great exercise in the training where they read down a list
of things, things you use every day, things like paper towels or bottled water or a cell
phone with a data plan. And participants in the workshop have to say for them, what do
they think; is it a need, a want or an obligation? And it’s always very interesting to see how
it breaks out, and how in many cases the vast majority of people will say, “Well that’s
clearly just a want,” and then someone will say, “Well” – for example on paper towels,
“Well if you don’t have a washing machine, Some people say, “That’s just a want.” And
then someone says, “Well what about if there’s been a toxic spill in your neighborhood?” So it’s – there are a lot of opportunities
for conversation around that. And the goal of that conversation in the training is to
help people understand that someone may come from a different perspective on those than
you do. The next tool, Prioritizing Bills, is designed
to help structure a conversation around, you know, when you’ve done everything that you
can, when you’ve brought as many resources into your household as you can, and you’ve
cut spending as much as you can. For many low wage families and low income families
the reality is that there will be bills left over. And what we’ve seen the – how we’ve seen the
use of this particular tool in the field has been that in many cases that frontline staffer
or volunteer will have it there as a guide to the conversation. And they’ll say, “Well
let’s talk a minute okay?” “Do you need a car to get to work?” You know
if you can’t get to work and earn income without a car maybe when you’re prioritizing your
bills, maybe you need to prioritize your car payment. You know, and then you can talk about
housing, about everything you need to protect your shelter, and then protecting your assets
and paying your obligations. And so it’s a helpful way to structure that
conversation. Because for each individual, for each family, their responses may be very
different. But it’s just to help people stop and reflect instead of just jumping and paying
the squeaky wheel first. If for example they’ve got a debt collector
who’s calling them about a five-year-old medical bill to stop and say, “Hold on wait, maybe
I need to pay my car payment first.” So it’s – we’ve seen that. And people have
let us know that they really value this tool and are finding it helpful in their conversations
with the people that they serve. Then the next module, Getting Through the
Month, as I mentioned before focused on cash flow. If you want to go to the next slide.
We took a cash flow approach to budgeting because any of us who have worked with our
own personal budget or have helped other people work with theirs, you know sometimes that
– if you do a monthly budget, it can all work out on paper but there are moments from week
to week when you come up short. And so especially for low income populations,
because their income is so variable but their bills are often constant, this can be a very
important approach to help people identify the moments in the month when they may not
be able to make ends meet, even though by the end of the month they would be square. So there’s, in addition to some cash flow
tools, there’s a tool as well that you can work for your client with ways to improve
your cash flow. There’s a great exercise in the training where they actually look at a
sample cash flow from an individual who’s tracked his income and tracked his spending
and you see where he’s coming up short. And in groups, people work to identify steps that
this person could take to improve their cash flow. Then we move into the section of the toolkit
on dealing with debt. And in that module we have a number of tools. We can – first we
talk about what debt is. And another popular exercise in the training is called Good Debt
or Bad Debt. And the trainer brings up topics like a loan from a friend or family member;
is that a good kind of debt or a bad kind of debt? And again, you know different responses come
up and people say, “Well it’s good because they don’t usually charge interest or they’ll
be flexible,” or “It’s bad because they’re not reporting it to a credit bureau.” So people
– and of course relationships, that always comes up. Or a loan for a car; is that a good debt or
a bad debt? Is a mortgage a good kind of debt or bad kind of debt to have? And it promotes
a really robust conversation around those issues. In this module there are a number of tools.
There’s a Debt Worksheet that just helps someone basically log their debt. We’ve heard from
a number of agencies that this tool is helpful because when people are carrying it all around
in their head it feels unmanageable, but if they can gather their statements and put pen
to paper and make a list then they can begin to identify what they can work on. But just putting it down, we’ve heard back
from some Social Services staff who have been using this tool in the field very effectively
and they said, “People keep telling us it’s reducing their stress just to have it written
down so that they don’t feel like they have to just remember it all.” Then there’s a tool on debt to income, on
the debt to income ratio. We look at debt to income ratio as kind of like taking your
budget’s blood pressure; seeing how much pressure debt is putting on your budget. And in the
training there’s an exercise that trainers can use that actually help, that you sit down
and calculate out somebody’s debt to income ratio. And you ask the question, you know,
“Can this person really afford this new car payment that they’re looking at?” There’s also then a Debt Reduction Worksheet
that helps people look at that list of debts that they’ve made and think about the approach
they’d like to take; do they want to take the approach where they – the snowball method,
where they pay off the smallest debt first and then apply those payments to other loans
or do they attack the highest interest loans first? We also talk a lot in this module – we’ll
talk about that in a moment. But then we have a section in it on student loan debt. There’s
a tool that can just – in the toolkit, that captures in writing the topics that are covered
in the Repay Student Debt section of CFPB’s Web site, of this tool on our Web site Paying
for College. And when student debt comes up in our workshop
you can imagine what happens, you know especially with young social workers or young case managers
who are carrying student loans and working in jobs that don’t always pay them enough
to keep up with their student debt. As well, they’re telling us in increasing numbers that
in their agencies they’re seeing a number of low income clients who are now carrying
a great deal of student debt. So that tool is proving helpful for them. Then the last tool in that module is on when
debt collectors call and steps that you can take. We talk in the module about your rights
and debt collection and helping people understand that the rights that they have under perhaps
their state laws, but particularly under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act so that
they know for example, that they can ask a debt collector to not contact them at work,
so that they know that they have the right to ask that contact be stopped. In this tool we include sample letters that
can be used, for example to stop contact or to request that the debt be verified. And
but stressing all the while that stopping contact doesn’t mean that you’ve gotten the
debt cancelled, that you still will need to build a plan to repay the debt. Then we move into the module on credit scores
and credit reports. In the trainings this section is very popular because to people
who aren’t financial educators or financial counselors, credit reports and credit scores
are a great mystery. And so they appreciate the chance to learn
for example with Tool 1, how they can pull their credit report scores for free, for real,
and how they can help their clients get that information. Then the second tool is a checklist that helps
them work through the credit report that they received methodically, just to check “Is my
name right, is my Social Security number right, is the employment history accurate, you know,
is everything in the personal information section accurate, are these loans or card
balances accurate?” So it helps them, instead of just being overwhelmed
by the credit report that they receive, it gives them a way to walk through it a step
at a time. Then there’s information in that tool on filing a dispute. And there’s are
– there are sample letters that can help them file a dispute if there’s information that’s
not correct. And then the final tool in that module is
on improving credit reports and scores and walks people through some basic steps that
they can take to ensure that their report is accurate. And then if there’s negative
information on that report that’s inaccurate getting it removed, which will then obviously
have an impact on their score. Then the next module focuses on – in the new
versions we’re calling it Money Services, Cards, Accounts and Loans, Finding What Works
for You. We found that when we called it Choosing Financial Products, Services and Providers,
that wasn’t clear to people what that meant and what it encompassed. And so we took a
– we’ve now taken a literal approach in that title. And this module is designed, as we showed
you earlier, with this particular tool it’s designed to help people identify what types
of products can meet their needs. And just as in the tools in the Income and Spending
modules, helping them analyze the risks and benefits or the pros and cons of utilizing
different financial products, things that they may want to take into consideration as
they’re choosing financial products. Then the final module on protecting your money
includes information on submitting a complaint to the CFPB, and then looks at identifying
red flags. As Irene mentioned at the beginning, the Bureau’s charged with educating consumers.
And we believe that an educated consumer is the first-line of defense. And if we can help people recognize red flags
of a potential activity, potential ways of doing business, that are breaking the law
or breaking consumer financial protection law then – and they stop it right there, then
it doesn’t escalate to the point at which they need to submit a complaint to us; they
themselves have stopped the bad situation from happening. Then there’s information on protecting your
identity. And again in our trainings this has been extremely popular. This is I think
top of mind for all of us all the time these days. And just some practical tips from the
FTC on identity theft and preventing identity theft. And we close out each training with additional
CFPB resources so that people know how to reach out to us. The toolkit at the end of
each module actually includes a resource box where users can link out from the PDF version,
or obviously they can just click and link out directly, to additional resources that
can help them provide information and tools to their clients. And of course, this is Irene, just to add
that there is also all the resources for financial educators that are – including the ones that
Patty mentioned here, that are on our inventory we referenced at the beginning. All right, that ends the formal presentation.
We have a little over 10 minutes for questions. Operator do you want to give instructions
on how to do verbal questions? And again, you can also still use the Q&A box on the
webinar to type questions. Thank you. At this time if you do have any
questions or comments you may press star 1 on your touchtone phone. Again, that is star
1 if you do have any questions. One moment please. You can also send them in. Patty I’ll ask
a question while we’re waiting. What’s your – I know you’ve been doing trainings
all over the country, you’ve had different pilot sites and national organizations. How
many caseworkers do you think are using this now — ballpark estimate? Thousands. Thousands. And our goal in the national rollout was 5000,
adding that to the 1400 who were trained in the first – you know in the field test. So
obviously we’re now heading up into over 7000. Cool. And I think the thing that’s been most gratifying
to me is to see how they’re adapting it to their own situations. For example there’s
a community action agency in Tennessee that trained everyone across the board, trained
all of their staff and volunteers, everyone from their case managers to their bus drivers
and cooks. And for some of their staff they saw it as
an employee benefit, they saw it as workplace financial education, and for others then they
knew that it would provide new opportunities to start the money conversation. One thing that we have found in organizations
that have trained all of their staff, they’re telling us that it’s resulted in an increase
of – in referrals to their in-house financial counselor or coach. Because people are listening
differently to the conversations that they’re having and they’re picking up on things that
relate to financial topics that they just missed before. And these things obviously impact their program
outcomes. And everybody wants to improve program outcomes. Right, right. Operator are there any questions
now? We do have a question. (Naomi Bectal) you
may ask your question and please state your company name. Hi this is (Naomi) and I’m from Perdue Extension
Marion County in Indianapolis. Patty I’m just wondering, and you may have mentioned this
while I was adding my question in, if you’re planning on doing any Train the Trainer types
of workshops in the future. Well (Naomi), from a fellow Hoosier — I’m
from Evansville… Excellent. There’s actually a Train the Trainer that
is scheduled in Chicago on September 24 that will be available. And in Indiana, actually
IHCDA is – has been a partner in the volunteer rollout. And so if you’ll email Irene, since
– or if you email the FinEx box… In the FinEx box I will… then Irene will put you directly in touch
with me and I can connect you to resources in your area. Excellent. Thank you very much. Once again, if you do have a question or any
comments please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. Patty I will ask you another question which
comes up other times I’ve mentioned this toolkit. And I know the answer but I’ll let you share
it, which is right now this is – it’s a Web – you can download the modules from the Web
but they’re not interactive, they’re not digital at this point. Is there a plan to create a
digital version of Your Money Your Goals? There is. That’s been the goal from the outset,
to make the material available in an interactive, online forum that would allow people to more
quickly identify that content that’s relevant at that moment and then print on demand only
what they need instead of having to hit print and you get 300 pages. Right, right. And that’s under development
right? Yes. So it’s not available now… No. …but it will be eventually. And actually
I’ll also add, just because I know people may be thinking this, so obviously people
can access this through the Web site, can they also order hard copies, is that… We’re not doing that at this point. We’re
frankly looking at our distribution plan for next year. One thing that we have seen taking
place in the field is that organizations are increasingly succeeding at getting sponsorships
and grants to hold these trainings. A nationwide housing program got a significant
grant that allowed them to train their staff. One of our national partners has actually
landed a grant that will allow them to continue training their staff and providing them with
toolkits. So you’re absolutely free, if you would want
to implement a training in your community to pursue sponsorship opportunities, and there’s
information in the Implementation Guide around some considerations that we would just ask
you to observe if you do that. And then that would allow people to print
larger quantities� Yes, then you can… Yes. Operator, are there any other – are there
other questions on the phone? Again, that is star 1 on your touchtone phones
if you do have any questions. We have a placid crowd today. And actually you know, when Irene was mentioning,
you know with sponsorships you could have toolkits printed, and remember because it’s
a toolkit, not a curriculum, if you’re leading a training and you’ve chosen to focus on two
or three modules you could conceivably just print out those modules. You don’t have to
print the whole toolkit. We don’t prescribe how you use it and how
you train on it. Obviously it’s very important to us that people do understand how to reach
out to us. And so we would very much like it if you would make sure to emphasize that
now there’s recourse that you have that just a few short years ago people did not have. You know, if you’re working with someone to
improve their – to fix their credit report, to take care of errors on their credit report
and if you’re not getting a response, you can reach out to our – to Consumer Response
and submit a complaint and they will then take it up with the company. So – or if people are having difficulty with
a financial product, again they can submit a complaint; with debt collectors. So we want
to make sure that people know that this is a resource that’s available to them. Right, and I’ll just – I’ll add to that because
Patty went over the Submit a Complaint slide pretty quickly because we had so much to cover.
But there is, again the Bureau has a whole system for accepting complaints around different
financial products. You can get to it through our Web site or through – there’s a phone
line that you can see on our Web site that takes complaints in 180+ languages. And if you’re interested in learning more
details about that, we had a – our last FinEx webinar was on that topic. And we do have
recordings and transcripts from all the webinars that FinEx has hosted. This one again, will also be posted on that
Adult Financial Education or Resources for Financial Educators Web site – Web page on
our site. If you go to that you’ll see the recordings and transcripts near the top actually
from previous webinars. So you can actually learn a lot more about the Consumer complaint
function that the Bureau has if – which was presented by the Chief of Staff for the division
that actually runs that whole system. So that’s a very interesting webinar if people
are interested in learning more. And it is a great tool, both for individuals to get
responses from their financial providers, as well as for the Bureau to learn about what’s
going on in the market and better understand what issues consumers are facing and help
inform our work to kind of monitor the market and regulate the market. Are there any other phone questions? We do have one more. (Jennifer Jonessey),
you may ask your question. Please state your company name. Yes, this – sorry, I’m from CNHS. This probably
was asked already but I just wondered if we would get an email with the links that we
can get access to the information that was discussed today? Yes, so when the – if you want to see the
webinar or listen to the webinar that we – you’ve just been listening to, especially if you
weren’t able to see the slides, that will get posted, it usually takes about two weeks
for it to come and for us to actually get it uploaded. And then what I – if you’re on the FinEx email
list, which probably you are if you – actually if you sign up for a webinar we usually add
you to that list, I will send out an email, a FinEx newsletter that will – with some topical
updates or information and it will say, “And here are the webinars that are now posted.”
So we will let people know when the webinar goes out. And those newsletters, as well as the general
resources for financial educators or adult-FinEx education-financial-education site on the
Bureau’s Web site, that has – will have links to all, like the Submit a Complaint function,
there’s a link to that there, the whole resource inventory with all the different tools is
all there. So if you can get to that site it will get
you to all those different places. But I will – there will be an email that says, “The webinar
is now up and by the way, here’s the schedule for upcoming webinars and other information
from FinEx.” And to access Your Money Your Goals if you
just bring up consumerfinance.gov and type Your Money Your Goals into the Search box,
the page where all the toolkits are hosted comes up first. Right. And you can also get to us through
the inventory. Yes. So we try to have multiple routes to help
navigate the, you know, complex Web site. Are there any other phone questions in our
last minute or two? Once again, if you would like to ask a question
you may press star 1 on your touchtone phone. And look, there is an email question which
is, “Can I give you my email address?” I can, although to be honest the easiest way to – for
everyone to reach me is probably just through the FinEx email box, which I check you know
religiously, which is [email protected], FinEx, F-I-N-E-X. So [email protected] And I do check that so myself and my colleague
(Lynn) that will – we can then connect – either answer questions or connect you to other resources
at the Bureau. We figure that’s easier than your trying to remember how to spell my last
name. So that box has been a useful resource. I think we’re about out of time. Are there
any final phone questions? At this time I’m showing no further questions. Great. Well we’re just about at 3 o’clock
so I want to thank everyone very much for participating. And again you’ll be able to
access this webinar and all the tools and resources mentioned on the Adult Financial
Education Web site. So thank you very much Patty. The Your Money
Your Goals toolkit I know has been a huge resource. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s used
it or looked at it has been really excited about the potential and the opportunities.
And so thank you so much for giving us this deeper dive into it. And to anyone who has questions, do reach
out to us. And I think with this we will end the webinar. And thank you very much for your participation
on today’s conference call. You may go ahead and disconnect at this time. Thank you Miss

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