Daily News

State Offices Partner on Financial-education Initiatives

BOSTON — The state Division of Banks, in partnership with the state Treasurer’s Office, announced the creation of the Financial Education Innovation Fund, which will provide an opportunity for high schools to develop or expand financial-education fairs.

These events, most commonly known as Credit for Life fairs, are designed to be a fun and effective way for students to learn about making real-world financial decisions when it comes to saving, spending, and budgeting based on career choices and lifestyle decisions.

“I feel strongly that students need to be exposed to financial literacy earlier and more often. We need to teach these skills so they can be used every day, so individuals can make sound financial decisions about their future,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “I am pleased that the Division of Banks is joining the Treasurer’s Office in promoting future Credit for Life fairs.”

Massachusetts school districts are not required to teach financial education, and these courses are taught on a voluntary basis. Approximately 50 high schools in the Commonwealth currently offer money-management events to their students.

“I have seen first-hand the profound impact these Credit for Life fairs have on the high-school students participating,” said state Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “This Innovation Fund allows us to expand our financial-literacy outreach to more communities across the Commonwealth, educating a new group of students on the realities they will face as adults.”

Initially, $50,000 will be allocated to the Innovation Fund from the Division of Banks to support a pilot financial-education program. High schools throughout the Commonwealth that may not otherwise be able to sponsor this type of program may apply for funding to conduct a Credit for Life fair. This financial-education initiative will be funded with monies received by the division in settlement of alleged unlawful lending practices.

For the first year, up to 15 schools will be selected to receive funding from the Innovation Fund. Schools must submit a completed application to the Treasurer’s Office by June 30 for consideration of an Innovation Fund award of up to $5,000. Award grantees will be notified in August, and financial-education events will be conducted by Dec. 31.

“The Division’s goal of consumer protection goes beyond the implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations,” said John Chapman, undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “It is also our responsibility to provide consumers of all ages the proper information to make wise financial decisions.”

The application for the Innovation Fund initiative is available at www.mass.gov/treasury/financial-education/innovation-fund.

The Division of Banks is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation that oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions, check sellers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, mortgage lenders, and brokers. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/dob or call (800) 495-2265.

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