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Friday, March 5, 2010

DFI Director Scott Jarvis Emphasizes Need for Financial Education during Speech in Vancouver

DFI Director Scott Jarvis joined approximately 150 Community Housing Resource Center employees, volunteers and partners at CHRC’s “Home is Where the Heart Is” breakfast Feb. 26 to honor and celebrate the organization’s many successes in financial education and community outreach & support.

The local paper, The Columbian, even offered up a significant chunk of newsprint real estate to promote the event and topic!

Washington residents need access to financial education

Keeping a light tone to his speech, Jarvis related the importance of the morning’s meal to the importance for all Washington residents to have access to financial education.

“Just as proper nutrition is important for the body, education is important for the mind – and the earlier we get it, the better prepared we’ll be as we go through life….

Unfortunately, just as many of us more often than not head out the door in the morning with nothing more than a cup of coffee to fuel us until lunch or later — many Washington residents do not receive financial education until they are adults facing significant financial decisions like paying for college, buying a car, or purchasing their first home.”

At-home financial education

To emphasize this point, Jarvis shared his personal experience of at-home financial education.

“Once a month I’d see my dad with a stack of papers and the checkbook and I’d hear him grumbling,” Jarvis said.

A query from the young Jarvis led to an explanation of his father paying the family mortgage.

“That,” Jarvis said, “was the extent of my financial education at home.”

Financial education helps prevent fraud

This is true for many Washington residents, and often these are very likely the same folks we will see later in life as victims of fraud or predatory lending in the course of an investigation at DFI. Quite often victims indicate they simply didn’t know better – they didn’t have the financial education to make sound financial decisions and put their trust in the hands of the professionals who were selling them a product.

Before a person becomes a victim and lands in the midst of a DFI investigation, however, there are opportunities to get the information needed to make sound financial decisions.

Vancouver Resource Center

DFI applauds and supports the Resource Center’s efforts in providing financial education and living up to their mission: “to provide quality education and counseling services to increase opportunity and access to community resources for people who strive to create financial security, housing stability, or homeownership for themselves and their families, thereby creating a vital and stronger community.”

Thank you members of the Resource Center for the work you do in this area. Together we can help Washington residents by giving them the power of information – the financial education that will enrich their lives and help protect them from becoming victims later. So — here’s to the power of financial education — breakfast for the mind, if you will.