News From Our Blog

Protecting servicemembers from predatory auto loans: Harry and Ari’s story

By Ashley Gordon, CFPB

Watch Harry and Ari’s story

Protecting consumers from predatory financial products and services is part of our mission and something we take very seriously. We received a Tell Your Story from the father of a servicemember that led to us opening an investigation into an auto loan program. The program, which targeted servicemembers, was found to have deceptive marketing and lending practices. The investigation led to an enforcement action against auto lenders requiring them to refund approximately $6.5 million to over 50,000 servicemembers. Ari, a servicemember, and his father Harry, shared their story with us, and here’s what they had to say:

 “It’s very important to speak up because there are people within the government that are there to help us get through challenging financial situations,” Harry said. “It’s very important for any citizen to speak up and just tell your story.” Ari mentioned that: “The fact that the CFPB took action in the name of servicemembers across the entire country… really shows us that someone’s in our corner.”

 We were glad to be there for Harry and Ari - they shared their story with us and got the help they needed. To learn more about their story, share your own, or find resources for servicemembers check out www.consumerfinance.gov/yourstory.

Share Your Thoughts: New Labels to Help ID Safer Products

From the Environmental Protection Agency

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Image description: Samples of the newly redesigned Safer Product labels.

Do you look for safer cleaning and household products? Did you know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a voluntary program that reviews products and allows them to display its Safer Product Label if they meet EPA’s stringent health and environmental criteria?

The EPA is redesigning its Safer Product Label (formerly, the Design for the Environment label) to give it a more modern look and make it clear that labeled products are safer for health as well as the environment.

Learn more and then share your thoughts on whether the potential new labels get the message across and will help you recognize safer products on store shelves. Input is welcomed now through the end of October.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month By Putting Your Health First

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, @HHSgov and @HHSLatino are hosting a live bilingual Twitter chat on Monday, September 15th at 2 p.m. EST. The chat will focus on putting your health first and discuss how to to sign up for health coverage, how to find free resources to help you make healthy lifestyle decisions and how to make a difference in your community.

You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any health-related questions and get answers from the experts.

Join us and others from across the government to chat about the health challenges, preventive care and how to take charge of your health.

Use the hashtag #HHMSalud to join the conversation!

You don’t have to give children an allowance—but if you do, talk about it

By CFPB and FDIC

Giving children an allowance is a topic many parents discuss. Even within families, parents can disagree about whether it’s a good idea.

Research doesn’t conclusively prove whether or not having an allowance helps children achieve better financial well-being as adults. However, research does suggest how to make an allowance work well for your children, if you do decide to give one.

Don’t just hand over the money and leave it at that. Make it part of your conversations. Talk about what the family budget still covers. For example, you can clarify that the child’s meals with the family, school clothes, and school supplies are the family’s responsibility. The child’s own expenses, like clothes he wants to buy or apps she wants to add, should come from the allowance.

If you give the allowance weekly, check in each week and ask about what the child decided to do with the money. Did she save any of it for a future goal? What did he learn about spending, saving, or planning ahead? Does she want to make changes to how she spends money next time?

Some families decide to pay children for certain chores. If this sounds like your family, you can have similar conversations about what your child earned.

Whether to give an allowance at all is a choice each family should make. To make the most of an allowance if you choose to give one, commit to giving your child some of your own time and guidance along with it.

Image description: Today, at 8:46 AM EST we observe a moment of silence to remember the victims of September 11. This photo from the American History Museum shows a memorial outside the Time Square Fire Station in New York.

Image description: Today, at 8:46 AM EST we observe a moment of silence to remember the victims of September 11.

This photo from the American History Museum shows a memorial outside the Time Square Fire Station in New York.