The Finance Data Directory: Get Your Government Data Here

October 2, 2012
by Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

Last week, as part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to make government data more accessible, the Treasury Department launched a new Finance Data Directory.  While this move is aimed at fostering innovation amongst entrepreneurs and software developers (the Treasury Department recently hosted a contest, the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, which solicited personal finance ideas and apps from the public), the Data Directory is also a pretty useful tool for consumers.  It’s a one-stop hub where you can find links to all kinds of financial data on many different government websites.

Want to see a listing of consumer complaints against various credit card companies?  There’s a link to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database (currently still in beta form).

Need a calculator to help you figure out the fees and expenses for mutual funds?  There’s a link to a tool on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s site that will compare up to three funds.

Interested in finding the nearest credit union?  There’s a link to the National Credit Union Association’s credit union locator.

And I’ll admit – I’m a statistics “geek” – I actually like to look at things like the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report, which you can also find in the Finance Data Directory.  And I took a peek at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, which provides information on the buying habits of American consumers.

This is admittedly a very preliminary first step in bringing finance-related data to the public, and the Treasury is openly soliciting comments to help them improve the site, but I do feel that anything that can promote greater understanding of the economy, and hopefully spark some ideas for great new personal finance apps and programs, is a worthy endeavor.

More Information:
Finance Data Directory
The Importance of Credit History and Successful Savings

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