WASHINGTON -- Financial education should begin in elementary school and the government should work more with community organizations to increase knowledge of personal finance, NAFCU told a government panel.
Ensuring that elementary school students learn about these subjects early on "will allow children and young adults to avoid many financial missteps in the immediate future,'' NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs B. Dan Berger wrote in a letter sent Friday to the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.
Berger urged that school systems expand their efforts with credit unions to increase financial awareness among students of all ages.
He also recommended that the government collaborate with organizations that work with underserved populations to provide workshops and free credit counseling. The governments should also encourage these organizations to build relationships "between underserved citizens and responsible financial institutions.''
Berger said the council should make sure that low-cost materials are available to help businesses provide financial education to their employees.
The government should also expand its use of traditional print, broadcast and web outlets to stress the importance of financial literacy, he added.
The council, which has several members with ties to credit unions, is coming up with proposed publc- and private- sector initiatives to raise people's knowledge of personal finance issues.