Message from the Chairman
When I look at the FDIC’s vital role in serving the American people, I see a long and impressive list that includes helping to maintain stability in the nation’s financial system, supporting community development and promoting financial literacy. I’m proud to say that there’s one FDIC program making a big difference in all three of those areas. That’s the Money Smart financial education program, especially those parts of the curriculum that help prepare low- and moderate-income families to buy and enjoy their own home – a fact that gives me mixed emotions now that so many people in our Gulf Coast states have recently lost their homes to hurricanes.
How can an education in the basics of money management affect the strength of our communities and our national economy? Start with what happens when people learn more about saving and managing money. They become financially independent. Soon they’ll use their new savings to provide a better life for themselves and their family, often by owning and maintaining a home. These new homeowners will want to protect their investment, and that contributes to safer and more vibrant communities. The end result? A more stable financial system and a more prosperous America.
Recent statistics show that nearly 70 percent of American families own their homes. I believe that some of the credit should go to financial education products such as Money Smart as well as the high-quality classes and other programs offered at the local level by banks, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other institutions. That’s why much of this issue of Money Smart News is devoted to highlighting what Money Smart can do for our outside partners to advance the cause of homeownership.
Inside you’ll read about the key components of Money Smart related to saving and borrowing for a home. You’ll also find success stories from some of our outside partners who are using Money Smart to boost homeownership in the communities they serve.
On a related subject, another article provides an update on the FDIC’s recent Spanish-language advertising campaign that is promoting Money Smart – and wealth building and homeownership – in Hispanic communities.
I like to think of Money Smart as one success story consisting of thousands of individual successes – the many people who have opened a bank account, bought a home, started a business or otherwise been helped by Money Smart and our network of partners around the country. If you want to learn more about Money Smart, join our partnership or offer a suggestion, contact your regional FDIC Community Affairs Officer.