Three things I learned at a CFPB financial empowerment toolkit training.

I’m in a city that is using a financial empowerment toolkit assembled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The training wasn’t quite as advanced as I was hoping for, but I’m glad I went. There were at least three things I learned during this training that I didn’t realize.  There might be more, but I haven’t used the toolkit yet.

  • About IRBs – Income-Based Repayment Plan, to repay student loans based on what you earn. Also, if you replay under the IRB and meet certain other requirements, the remaining balance will be forgiven after 25 years. A few cons, you may pay more interest and you may have to pay taxes on any loan amount forgiven. You can look here for more details.

  • Credit card companies you’re already working with, for example, Bank of America, can and do check your repayment current patterns to other credit companies and may adjust your interest based on that.  They do that no matter your payment history with them. So even if you pay your bills to them on time, they’re seeing what else you’re NOT doing on time.  No wonder people don’t trust them.
  • When you have a checking account and/or debit card, find out if you have to opt out or opt in for overdraft protection.  It sounds like it might be a good thing, but they’ll charge you for it and it might not be good.

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