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From the Desk of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy: April 16, 2010

April is Financial Literacy Month

 “Recently President Obama proclaimed April 2010 as Financial Literacy Month. I applaud the president for doing this because the country’s future prosperity depends on the financial security of all Americans.

“As a nation, we have all been impacted by the effects of our struggling economy. While there are many factors that have contributed to the current economic climate, and there is no one cause, we do know that consumers need to be more aware and informed of how their finances work and how to avoid some common financial pitfalls.

“It is never too early or too late to learn about consumer, economic, and personal finance concepts, which is why I introduced the Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act. This bill will provide grants to improve financial literacy education for K-12 and college students, as well as adults. Additionally, I worked with my Financial Services Committee colleagues to draft  an amendment included in the House financial regulatory reform bill that will create a Financial Literacy Program, which will run through the Department of Treasury’s Office of Financial Literacy.

“The government has an important role in protecting consumers and promoting financial literacy, but we are ultimately responsible for understanding the basic concepts, such as avoiding excessive debt, saving for an education and steering clear of deceptive products and practices. To learn more about financial literacy please visit www.mymoney.gov or call 1-888-MyMoney for guidance and resources. Also on my website, www.carolynmccarthy.house.gov, via the consumer information link, you can learn about the new credit card and overdraft rules for debit and ATM cards.

“Now is the time, regardless of age, that we learn, as consumers, about financial products so we may protect ourselves and our families.”