Members of Congress speak out on financial literacy education and reform

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FILE – This Wednesday, April 3, 2019, file photo shows a box filled with dollar bills, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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UPDATED 10:19 AM PT – Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Congressmen and women are encouraging Americans to gain financial literacy. During an event with The Hill on Tuesday, lawmakers noted the importance of learning how to manage money from a young age as well as understanding how a credit score is calculated.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said there are a number of changes that should be implemented in the credit industry, including increasing competition among companies and adding new ways to tally scores.

“We have a limited set of data that is under law, the favored data,” he stated. “We have to expand that set so you have traditional American activities that are current in this market place.”

McHenry went on to say the country can become more unified through financial education, training and economic opportunity. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) also discussed education as a way to prepare young people for their financial future.

“I think we have to start when young people are in school,” she explained. “Before you can graduate from high school, you have to understand all the qualities and things that have to be in your portfolio to have good credit, or better yet how to manage your money and how to understand what the ingredients are that will make your credit bad.”

This comes as Beatty previously co-sponsored bipartisan legislation aimed at educating first-time home owners. The bill, called the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2019, was passed unanimously in the House.

Meanwhile, private organizations such as Goalsetter are also working toward closing the gap in communities that continue to face obstacles to financial literacy. The platform recently announced they raised $3.9 million to expand their banking app, which is aimed at helping children understand finances.

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