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Financial Matters Matter: A Brief Synopsis of a Town Hall with CFPB’s Holly Petraeus

Dana, Holly P

Here at the Military Spouse Advocacy Network, we are all about empowering ourselves and military families through education. So when the opportunity arose for me to attend a town hall on financial matters, I was happy to be able to go! Financial health is one of the most important issues that we face and one of the most difficult to tackle. So who better to point us in the right direction than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Director of Service Member Affairs, Mrs. Petraeus? As spouses these are exactly the kind of events we need to be making time for, there is so much information out there and it is up to us to find it. Here is just a little of what I was able to take away the wonderful event.

The CFPB is fairly new and came about in response to the 2007 economic crash to protect consumers. The Bureau was created in 2010 with the passage of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act. As an independent agency, the CFPB has jurisdiction over mortgage service, banks, debt collectors, and other companies that offer financial products or services. What does this mean for our military members and their families? A great deal, actually. The CFPB has an Office of Servicemember Affairs dedicated to monitoring military consumer complaints. Not only do they work to address financial concerns, but the CFPB also provides military families with information on maintaining good financial health. Listening to Mrs. Petraeus speak about her role at the CFPB and her passion to ensure that our military community has the necessary resources was remarkable. Additionally, her mission was to arm us with information and to remind us to be watchful of some of the unique risks we face. I always find it particularly powerful when a fellow military spouse speaks on the very issues we battle, so I appreciate the awareness that Mrs. Petraeus is determined to bring about.

I would love to get to the nitty gritty details of finances and fraud protection, I mean that is the stuff that dreams are made of right? What about understanding your credit score, I could just go on and on for hours about that hot topic. And don’t even get me started on student loan debt unless you have a whole day to spare. I’ll let the experts handle that for now(Check out the links below).In all seriousness though, these are the exact topics that were covered at this town hall, so my point is to GO to events like these if you have the chance and we can tackle these issues together. You don’t have to be a financial enthusiast to learn a thing or two about how to protect and plan for your future. You only have to have a little time and the willingness to learn, we can’t use our voice if we don’t find it first!

Dana Bretz, New Military Spouse Support Program Director

For more information on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and The Office of Servicemember Affairs http://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers/

Find answers to frequently asked consumer questions at www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/

If you or someone you know has a problem with a financial product or service, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB here:  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/

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