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New government Web site offers one-stop financial education

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Defense Department is part of a multiagency effort that resulted in the debut of a federal government Web site devoted to financial education Oct. 12.

The mymoney.gov site has been in the works since March, with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission taking the lead role in its development, DOD officials said. Billed as a helpful resource for all Americans, the site is a coordinated entry point to all federal financial literacy and education programs.

DOD is among 20 agencies that have contributed to the site. Officials said part of the reason for DOD’s participation was the extensive financial tools it already had available.

"The Web site and hotline are great resources for servicemembers and their families to obtain free, credible, unbiased information on personal finance from agencies in the federal government," said Charles Abell, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

From the site, visitors can order a free financial tool kit in English or a similar version in Spanish. It generally takes two to three weeks to arrive, but contains information on how to choose and use credit cards, get out of debt and numerous other handy financial tips on social security and investing, officials said.

The kit also can be ordered by calling (888) 696-6639 toll free.

It covers savings, investing, credit and social-security benefits and is recommended as a good way to start exploring financial options, officials said.

The mymoney.gov site allows for quick reference to a number of financial topics of interest to consumers. Clicking on a topic redirects consumers to a categorized list of links that offer specific information on a topic. The amount of information is vast, but special effort was put into keeping it well- organized, officials said.

President Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which established the Financial Literacy Education Commission, in December 2003. The commission, a partnership of 20 federal agencies and chaired by the secretary of the treasury, was charged with improving the country's financial literacy and education. At its first meeting in January, the need for the mymoney.gov Web site was determined, officials said.

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