Utah media invited to Friday ‘pen-and-pad’ financial education briefing with CFPB Director Kraninger, Treasurer Damschen

What: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger, Utah Treasurer David Damschen and Utah Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy are hosting a ‘pen-and-pad’ consumer financial education briefing for members of the Utah media. This is an opportunity for reporters to ask Director Kraninger and Treasurer Damschen questions about the efforts of the CFPB and Utah to improve consumer financial capability.

Immediately following the media availability, Director Kraninger will participate in a Financial Education Roundtable, hosted by Utah Jump$tart Coalition and the Utah Office of State Treasurer. This is an opportunity for Director Kraninger to learn more about Utah’s trailblazing efforts to incorporate financial education into its public education system. Attendees of the meeting will include representatives of the CFPB, Utah Office of State Treasurer, Utah Governor’s Office, Utah State Board of Education and Utah Jump$tart Coaltion.

When: Friday, January 31, 2020 | 9:15-9:30 a.m.

Where: Utah Office of State Treasurer | Utah State Capitol | 350 N State Street, Suite 170 | Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Why: There is an ever-pressing need in our country to strengthen personal financial capability. Consumer debt is at an all-time high of $13.8 trillion — $1.2 trillion higher than the $12.6 trillion peak reached in 2008 during the Global Financial Crisis. Student loan debt reached a staggering $1.6 trillion this year and is continuing to grow, impacting young Americans’ ability to purchase a home and start a family. Recent statistics show that other consumer debt is also weighing heavily on the shoulders of Americans. One-third of Americans indicated that it would take at least three years to pay off their credit card debt, and 20% spend more than half of their monthly income on debt repayment. With more money being spent on debt repayment, less money is going toward savings.  A reported 41% of adults have nothing saved for retirement.

States across the nation are approaching the issue by offering financial education in public schools. Utah is a pioneer in the area and established a General Financial Literacy (GFL) graduation requirement more than 10 years ago. This mandate equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed financial decisions, and it establishes a framework for Utah schools to provide quality financial education to students. Since the mandate was put in place, public officials, educators and community advocates have worked together to strengthen and improve upon it. The Utah Office of State Treasurer and the Utah Office of State Auditor co-sponsored a review of Utah’s program last year. That review revealed that Utah students who completed the GFL course demonstrate greater financial knowledge and better financial behaviors.

A focus of Director Kraninger is empowering consumers to enhance their financial well-being. The Utah Office of State Treasurer has a similar focus. Treasurer Damschen chairs the Utah Council on Financial and Economic Education, an organization comprised of more than 50 private and public entities that share a common mission to empower Utahns to achieve economic stability, opportunity and upward mobility. One of the council’s primary objectives is to advocate for and strengthen financial education requirements and programming within the public education system.

Utah has worked with the CFPB during the past several months to provide guidance to states in the early stages of incorporating financial education into their public education systems. Director Kraninger’s visit is part of that effort.

Media Contacts:

Brittany Griffin, PIO
Utah Office of State Treasurer
(801) 918-1411

Marisol Garibay, Acting Chief Communications Officer
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(202) 384-8538

Anna Tibbitts, Director
Utah Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy
(801) 414-9981