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2012-6

Resolution on Financial Literacy and Empowerment

REPRESENTATIVE JUAN CANDELARIA (CT) INTRODUCED AUG. 2012 MEETING (RATIFIED)

WHEREAS, personal financial literacy is essential to prepare individuals to make informed financial choices as successful heads of households, investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders; and

WHEREAS, financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and plan for their financial future; and

WHEREAS, the annual Consumer Financial Literacy Survey suggests that many Americans continue to struggle with their finances, especially young adults and Latino households; and

WHEREAS, the complexity of credit scoring methods and financial decisions today require better education and tools; and

WHEREAS, credit scores are widely used by financial institutions to assess eligibility for mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, retail credit, and other consumer credit; and

WHEREAS, many consumers who contact the nationwide credit reporting agencies to ask questions about how their credit scores are determined and what actions they can take to improve their particular scores find that these agencies are limited by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) from providing individualized assistance to consumers; and

WHEREAS, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) supports the intent of CROA to prevent deceptive practices among credit repair organizations and businesses that often promise consumers they can remove negative, but accurate, information from a credit report; and

WHEREAS, consumers should be able to request from nationwide credit reporting agencies information and specific recommendations about what legitimate actions they can take to improve their individual credit reports and credit scores; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, NHCSL urges policy makers to consider expanding the information options available to consumers to they can empower themselves to improve their individual credit reports and credit scores; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NHCSL strongly supports the goal and intent of CROA, and do not believe those are mutually exclusive with empowering credit reporting agencies to provide financially underserved consumers with better tools to improve their credit report; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that policy makers should allow for some of these resources, aids, and reports to be provided to consumers at no charge and at no detriment to their credit rating, and advocate for education on those resources; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NHCSL will seek to identify additional policy making opportunities to promote financial literacy, particularly among youths; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NHCSL will also support activities related to Financial Literacy Month on a yearly basis; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, a copy of this Resolution will be transmitted to leadership of the Committees of jurisdiction in Congress, the Department of the Treasury, White House, and organizations that advocate similar views.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON AUGUST 25, 2012, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA AND RATIFIED AT THE NHCSL 2012 ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO ON NOVEMBER 17, 2012.

Sponsored by: Representative Juan Candelaria (CT)