Spotlight Exclusives

Financial Capability among Low-Income Households Gets Critical Attention This Month

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Financial capability — the knowledge, skills, and access needed to manage financial resources effectively — is a critical step toward financial security and a challenge many households face year-round. April is National Financial Capability Month, an opportunity to highlight resources for financial empowerment as well as barriers to financial capability.

For low-income families with few assets, the margin for financial error is thin. Many lack access to tools and products that could improve their finances as well as basic financial literacy. In fact, about 40 percent of respondents to a recent survey graded their personal financial skills at “C” or below.

To promote awareness of the problem, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) launched a month-long campaign on financial capability. CFED is posting resources, research, and tools for building financial literacy throughout the month, focusing on a particular theme each week. This week۪s theme: financial capability at home, including housing.

“Choosing where to live and how to pay for it is one of those key moments in life where financial capability strategies can make all the difference,” said Kate Griffin, vice president for programs at CFED. “[Those strategies] ultimately ensure that stable, affordable housing is a key part of long-term financial security.”

With Vice President Joe Biden speaking this week at the Department of Housing and Urban Development about affordable housing — April is also Fair Housing Month — the theme could not be more timely.

“Home ownership is how most middle-class families save,” said Biden. “It۪s how most middle-class families build assets. And for many, it۪s the way you send your kid to college.”

Click here for Spotlight۪s resources and compiled research on financial capability and asset poverty.

Posted by Adam

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