Center for American Progress

Expanding Language Access to Protect Consumers with Limited English Proficiency

Expanding Language Access to Protect Consumers with Limited English Proficiency

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed Language Access Plan will make access to consumer financial products more transparent for households with limited English proficiency.

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idea_bulbThe CFPB recently proposed a Language Access Plan to demonstrate its commitment to provide people with limited English proficiency, or LEP individuals, much-needed access to its programs, information, and services in their native languages. The proposed plan is a critical step toward ensuring that LEP people can exercise their right to fair and transparent consumer financial products and services.

This plan is especially important due to growing linguistic diversity: 77 percent of Asian Americans, 75 percent of Latinos, 43 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and 28 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives all speak a language other than English at home. More than 40 million foreign-born people reside in the United States, representing 13 percent of the total population. In 1980, 70 percent of foreign-born residents spoke a language other than English at home; by 2012, this number rose to 85 percent.

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