WASHINGTON (4/1/08)—Opportunities to offer consumers’ a bit of financial education are blossoming all over this Spring, with April named Financial Literacy Month and May designated Older American Month. The U.S. Treasury Department’s “Go Direct” program to encourage direct deposit of government benefits checks is offering downloadable tools to inform seniors about the benefits of having checks deposited automatically into their accounts. Those tools include:
* A Financial Literacy Month overview providing ways to incorporate Go Direct into existing financial literacy efforts; * PowerPoint slides with key information about the benefits of direct deposit, which can be incorporated into existing presentations; * A “Direct Deposit Myths and Facts” sheet for hand-out at presentations, workshops or meetings, a flyer that is intended to identify and dispel common misconceptions about direct deposit.
Additional downloadable items specifically designed for use during Financial Literacy Month are: for you to download and include in your financial literacy efforts. Below are additional items specifically for April Financial Literacy Month for you to download and include in your financial literacy efforts. Newsletter copy, poster, web banner – "take charge of your finances,” web banner – "sign up for direct deposit," event flier, telephone hold message script, statement stuffer and statement message. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is a Go Direct national partner and supports the check-safety and cost-savings goals for the program. Paper checks make up only 20% of the total number of Social Security payments, but they account for more than 90% of reported problems. In fiscal year 2007, for example, nearly 60,000 Treasury-issued checks were forged -- totaling an estimated $56 million. Direct deposit eliminates the risk of check fraud and helps protect people from identity theft. Use the resource link below to access the Treasury materials.