For Immediate Release - November 17, 2015

Massachusetts Division of Banks Provides Additional Funding for the Financial Education Innovation Fund

Increased Funding Will Support Spring 2016 Credit for Life Fairs

Boston, MA - In June, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Division of Banks (Division) partnered with the State Treasurer’s Office to create the Financial Education Innovation Fund to provide an opportunity for high schools to develop or expand financial education fairs.

These events are most commonly referred to as Credit for Life fairs. They are organized through the collaboration of schools, financial institutions, non-profits, and local businesses.

“We are very pleased to be funding this financial literacy initiative. The grants that fund these fairs are particularly important to furthering students’ awareness of having an ability to manage money, credit, and savings throughout their lifetimes,” said John Chapman, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

The Division allocated $70,000 to support this pilot financial education program with monies received by the Division in settlement of alleged unlawful lending practices. Twenty schools were awarded grant monies for financial education events scheduled to be conducted by December 31, 2015. The Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment has received positive feedback from the grant recipients that already hosted their Fall Credit for Life fairs.

“I am excited that we, in partnership with the Division of Banks, are able to expand the highly successful Credit for Life fairs,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “These fairs, through experiential learning, give students the financial tools they need to succeed. Our commitment to provide access to financial education is an important part of increasing economic security for every Massachusetts resident."

In order to extend the opportunity for high schools that host Credit for Life fairs in the Spring to apply for and receive grant monies, the Division has allocated an additional $70,000 to the Innovation Fund to support Spring Semester Credit for Life fairs. Up to 23 schools will be selected to receive funding from the Innovation Fund for events conducted before the end of the school year.

“As a member of the Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Task Force, I have had the opportunity to meet the educators who are involved in running Credit for Life fairs,” said David Cotney, Commissioner of Banks. “I consistently hear how much fun students have at these fairs while taking the simulation seriously. I hope that in partnering with the Treasurer’s Office, the Division can continue to expand and promote opportunities for more students to participate in these fairs throughout the Commonwealth.”

Schools must submit a completed application to the Office of the State Treasurer by December 4, 2015 for consideration of an Innovation Fund award of up to $5,000.00. Award grantees will be notified in January.

The application for the Innovation Fund initiative is available on the State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment website at www.mass.gov/treasury/innovationfund.

The Division of Banks is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation which oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions, check sellers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, mortgage lenders and brokers. For more information visit the Division’s website at www.mass.gov/dob or contact the Division of Bank’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-495-BANK (2265).