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What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008-2010 The President and Congress determined that the American consumer had been failed by the financial marketplace. Due to misrepresentation, dishonesty and unethical practices by lenders, many average Americans found themselves without homes and drowning in credit card debt. In an effort to prevent such a thing from happening again, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created.

Their goal is to offer Americans a wealth of accurate information regarding financial matters. They help consumers understand financial language so that it can never again be used as a weapon against them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes a threefold approach to protecting your interests in the financial world.

  • They educate the consumer. An ignorant consumer is a target for opportunists. Why is this important? Well, the better you understand the financial products that are available to you, the more effectively you will be able to utilize those goods and services. Whether you are choosing a credit card or taking out a mortgage, our goal is always to make sure that nothing is concealed.
  • They enforce federal consumer and financial laws. They provide regulatory oversight of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. They are the regulatory body that will stand by you if you’re wronged by one of these financial institutions. Their enforcement efforts have returned over $867 million to wronged consumers.
  • They examine information. The CFPB analyzes and interprets the data as a whole. They are tasked with the serious duty of making sure consumers know what the financial risks are from the beginning. Thanks to the CFPB, when considering a company you will know what the pricing is up-front and they make sure nothing is hidden in the fine print. Their goal is to produce an educated consumer capable of making well-informed decisions.

The Bureau has various divisions. One of the most notable is the Consumer Education and Engagement Division. This division has been instrumental in encouraging consumers to look at the organization of their personal finances through the creation and distribution of the “Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit”. This toolkit equips the consumer with information about important personal financial concepts like maintaining an emergency fund, cash flow budgeting, and more. The product teaches you how to identify, understand, and utilize financial goods that can help you reach your monetary and life goals.

Through this method – to educate, enforce, and examine - they are creating a consumer marketplace that is transparent, ethical, and provides buyers with legitimate, sound innovations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s main purpose is to assist you – the consumer. They are dedicated to leveling the financial playing field through consumer education so that you can make an informed, confident decision. They are the dependable, trustworthy defenders of financial freedom.

Last Updated: February 10, 2016