Financial Literacy Resource Directory
This directory provides information on financial literacy resources, issues and events that are important to bankers, organizations, and consumers of all ages. The directory includes descriptions and contact information for a sampling of organizations that have undertaken financial literacy initiatives as a primary mission, government programs, fact sheets, newsletters, conference materials, publications, and links to Web sites.
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As of January 2011, taxpayers can use tax refunds to buy U.S. Series | Savings Bonds for their own use or for someone else. Issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Series I bonds are low-risk bonds that grow in value for up to 30 years.
The Asset Coalition Toolkit for States (ACTS) is an independent website containing tools and resources that leverage information sharing among state coalitions in the asset-building field.
Assets for Independence Demonstration (AFI) Assets for Independence (AFI) is a community-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. Utilizing existing individual and community assets, AFI strengthens communities from within through the use of matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Through financial education, AFI demonstrates the use and impact of IDAs to help low-income individuals move toward greater self-sufficiency.
CFED promotes asset-building and economic opportunity strategies, primarily in low-income and distressed communities, that bring together community practice, public policy, and private markets. CFED has promoted the IDA as a means of enabling low-income individuals to develop assets and is currently drafting certification standards for IDA Programs. CFED coordinates the American Dream Demonstration (ADD), a large-scale IDA program which has designed and implemented IDA initiatives in 13 locations around the country.
Individual Development Accounts: An Asset Building Product for Lower-Income Consumers (PDF) (February 2005) OCC Community Developments Insights examines Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) as a tool for banks and other financial institutions to encourage lower-income persons and families to save money and thus build assets for particular financial goals. It describes why banks offer IDAs, shows how banks are involved with IDAs, and addresses barriers to the growth of IDA products. The information presented here was obtained from a variety of sources including financial institutions, IDA policymakers, nonprofit service providers, and program funders. Several hundred banks participate in IDA programs which can receive positive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act. Appendix 1 of the Insights paper contains a resource guide for banks considering participation in an IDA program.
Individual Development Accounts (PDF) OCC Community Developments Fact Sheet
The Join Bank On Web site provides information for current and potential Bank On programs.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy helps people understand their personal finances through every stage of life.
The Alliance for Investor Education is a non-profit organization of 18 associations, government agencies and self-regulatory bodies that are leaders in investor education/financial literacy.
Building Native Communities: Financial Education and Asset Building provides financial education, entrepreneurship, home buyer education, and credit counseling programs to Native communities.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. offers a Financial Planning Resource Kit to help people learn about financial planning.
Choose to Save is sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the American Savings Education Council. This public education campaign encourages savings through all stages of life.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and American Savings Education Council (ASEC) America Saves Campaign consists of locally based campaigns to publicize the value of building savings and reducing debt to Americans who have not saved adequately. Local offices of the U.S. Department of Labor provide support on each campaign, and U.S. Savings Bonds are one of the savings products promoted. America Saves involves local nonprofit, government, and business leaders in each campaign.
Cultivating Community-based Financial Literacy Initiatives (Spring 2009) OCC Community Developments Investments highlights roles that banks can play in promoting financial stability through local partnership efforts. Its articles describe four programs that help banks and their community partners reach out to consumers to encourage better money management through savings and checking products.
The Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension System (NIFA) provides leadership to state, regional, and county-level educators who deliver basic consumer education; teaches personal financial management skills to youth, limited-resource families, and young families; and promotes comprehensive financial planning throughout the life cycle.
The Financial Education Evaluation Toolkit, offered by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NFEF), is an online resource that shows how to apply evaluation techniques to programs to document learner impact.
Financial Capability (PDF) OCC Community Developments Fact Sheet
Financial Workshop Kits offered by NEFE, provide printable scripts and teaching plans containing handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and related resources for a variety of personal finance-related topics. The Web site prepares people to easily educate adult learners in a variety of group settings.
Money Smart, sponsored by the FDIC, is a financial education curriculum designed to help individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships.
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is a foundation dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances. NEFE accomplishes its mission primarily by partnering with other concerned organizations to provide financial education to the public, and particularly to underserved individuals whose financial education needs are not being addressed by others. The NEFE also has launched a National Financial Literacy Campaign that encourages Americans to start achieving their financial goals today by accessing practical information on the Smart About Money Website.
Native Financial Education Coalition (NFEC) is a group of local, regional, and national organizations and government agencies that have joined together to promote financial education in Native communities.
Navigating the Market: A Comparison of Spending on Financial Education and Financial Marketing, is a study commissioned by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The survey results give an overall indication of the relative amounts spent in the U.S. on financial education and on the marketing of certain types of financial products.
The NeighborWorks® Financial Capability Program helps individuals and families develop sound personal financial management skills.
OCC Financial Literacy Outreach, Community Affairs staff participate in financial literacy events around the country.
Operation Hope - Banking on Our Future - Operation Hope, Inc. (OHI), a private nonprofit financial empowerment organization, offers a national financial literacy education program for elementary, middle and high school students, and adults.
Payroll Cards: An Innovative Product for Reaching the Unbanked and Underbanked (PDF) - OCC Community Development Insights examines the growth of payroll cards and their potential for use by national banks to attract unbanked households into the financial mainstream.
The Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc. (SFEPD) develops and presents financial literacy and professional development training for individuals and organizations. To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the organization works with financial and education institutions, governmental units, corporations, and foundations, that support financial education and professional development programs. The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Financial Education has recognized SFEPD seminars for meeting their criteria for effective financial education programs.
Visa’s Financial Football, an NFL-themed educational video game, uses the NFL’s structure and rules to teach money skills and to improve financial literacy. Children and adults answer question of varying difficulty about money management. The updated game is available in English and Spanish and can be played online or ordered at no cost.
The Woodstock Institute has produced a guide targeted to a wide range of financial literacy providers that would like to know how effective their programs are but need a format with which to evaluate them. "Evaluating Your Financial Literacy Program: A Practical Guide" can be used to help organizations discover what works best for their customers.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. offers its Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense for consumers to protect themselves from people posing as financial advisors. This guide helps consumers recognize and react to red flags that may arise when they are selecting and working with financial advisors.
ConsumerFinance.gov is the Web site for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by Congress to protect and inform consumers. Consumers can get information about the bureau’s creation, priorities, and submit questions about its work is designed to solicit consumer ideas about the new bureau’s creation, priorities, and to answer questions about its work.
Consumer.gov is a Web site from the Federal Trade Commission containing free resources for people to learn about credit, debt, identity theft, and avoiding scams, as well as budgeting, opening a bank account, shopping for prepaid cards, and managing money in general. The material may also be ordered in bulk at bulkorder.ftc.gov, and the site is available in Spanish.
Consumer.ftc.gov is a Web site from the Federal Trade Commission that offers consumer information including videos and games, a blog, and streamlined articles that highlight actionable, practical tips on a wide range of consumer topics. The site is also available Spanish.
National Consumer Protection Week, the Federal Trade Commission, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations have launched the 2011 National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) Web site and blog. The website highlights the importance of consumer education and the availability of free resources to help people protect their privacy, manage credit and debt, avoid identity theft, understand mortgages and other loans, and recognize frauds and scams.
OCC Offers Facts for Consumers About Their Rights When Using Checks (PDF), OCC Consumer Advisory
OCC Offers Tips to Help Consumers Avoid Cashier’s Check Fraud, OCC Consumer Advisory
Annualcreditreport.com gives consumers one free credit report form each of the national credit reporting companies.
The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA) International Education Foundation, offers Ask Doctor Debt a free, online confidential resource to help consumers find solutions to credit and debt issues.
The Federal Reserve Board offers two new guides, “Credit Reports and Credit Scores” and “New Rules on Credit Decisions and Notices,” to answers to common questions about credit reports and how errors in credit reports can be corrected; and the new notices consumers may receive when credit reports or credit scores affect a decision to grant credit.
Freddie Mac Credit Smart is a curriculum to help consumers build and maintain credit.
MyMoneyCheckUp offered by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, analyzes users’ behavior and provides customized feedback, allowing individuals and families to monitor and assess their financial lives and adjust their behavior to maximize their economic empowerment. The site is also available in Spanish.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc. (NFCC) is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit credit counseling organization. With 115 member agencies and nearly 1,000 local offices throughout the country, NFCC agencies counsel approximately 2 million people per year. All members are nonprofit, mission-driven, community-based agencies and many are known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). The NFCC offers credit counseling, debt reduction services, and financial literacy education to consumers throughout the country. For more information about the NFCC network visit the website or call (800) 388-2227.
The “Advisory to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports Regarding Elder Financial Exploitation,” is an advisory letter issued by the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) that addresses how “financial institutions can play a key role is addressing financial exploitation due to the nature of the client relationship.” It also advises financial institutions to use the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to report suspected financial elder abuse.
“Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Government Leadership Could Enhance National Response to Elder Abuse,” is a 2011 study by the Government Accounting Office (GAO). The study contains information on the extent of financial elder abuse, the factors associated with the abuse and the impact on victims, the characteristics and challenges of state Adult Protective Services (APS) entities responsible for addressing the abuse, and federal support and leadership in this area.
“Elder Justice: National Strategy Needed to Effectively Combat Elder Financial Exploitation,” is a 2012 study by the GAO. The study describes the challenges states face in preventing and responding to elder financial exploitation and the actions some federal agencies have taken to help states address these challenges.
The Investor Protection Trust Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Protection Program educates healthcare professionals to recognize when their older patients may be vulnerable to or victims of financial abuse, particularly those patients with mild cognitive impairment, and then to refer these at-risk patients to State Securities Regulators, local adult protective services professionals or for further medical screening.
Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) The Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established under Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003 to improve financial literacy and education of persons in the United States. The Commission is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and composed of 22 Federal agencies. The principal duties of the Commission include encouraging government and private sector efforts to promote financial literacy; coordinating financial education efforts of the Federal government; identification and promotion of best practices; development of a national strategy to promote financial literacy; and establishment of the Mymoney.gov web site.
Mymoney.gov is the U.S. government’s web site dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. The site organizes financial education help from over 20 different Federal web sites in one place. Content is organized by where you are in life ("Life Events"), who you are ("My Resources"), and by specific hands-on tools ("Tools"). This site is also available in Spanish
The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (“Council”) was created when the President signed Executive Order 13530, January 29, 2010, to assist the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions, and thereby contribute to financial stability. It is composed of non-governmental representatives with relevant backgrounds, such as financial services, consumer protection, financial access, and education. The Council will suggest ways to coordinate and maximize the effectiveness of existing private and public sector efforts and identify new approaches to increase financial capability through financial education and financial access.
"Promoting Financial Success in the United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2011" (PDF) was published by the FLEC in November 2010. The Strategy was created through a process that included conversations with private, public, and non-profit representatives from the field. Articulating a vision of sustained financial well-being for individuals and families in our nation, this document sets strategic direction for policy, education, practice, research, and coordination in the financial literacy and education field.
MoneyWi$e is a national financial literacy partnership of Consumer Action and Capital One, is the first program of its kind to combine free, multilingual financial education materials, curricula and teaching aids with regional meetings and roundtables to train community-based organization staff so that consumers at all income levels and walks of life can be reached.
National Council of La Raza's is Housing and Community Development component and Wealth Building Policy Project seeks to strengthen Latino communities by preserving and increasing their wealth.
Pew Hispanic Center was founded in 2001 and is a nonpartisan research organization supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Its mission is to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation. The Center does not advocate for or take positions on policy issues.
Remittances: A Gateway to Banking for Unbanked Immigrants (PDF) Community Development Insights
AARP's "Reverse Mortgage Loans: Borrowing Against Your Home" (PDF) - is a consumer guide that explains reverse mortgages.
Fannie Mae - provides pre- and post-purchase homeowner education and credit counseling.
Freddie Mac Homebuyer Resources provides credit, mortgage finance, and home-buying resources designed to assist prospective homebuyers and existing homeowners.
HUD’s Homeownership for All is a program that provides prospective homeowners with modules that explain the basics of buying a home, and what is expected of a buyer.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers a podcast series, entitled Housing Counseling 101, to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The pre-recorded audio series provides information on myths in housing counseling, creating an action plan, preparing for a counseling session, benefits of housing counseling, and the housing counseling process.
NeighborWorks® Network National Homeownership Programs offers a continuum of strategies to ensure successful, sustainable homeownership for people of modest means.
Reverse Mortgages: Are They For You? OCC Consumer Advisory,
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development certifies and funds housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, credit issues, and reverse mortgages.
Understanding Reverse Mortgages, OCC PSA
OCC Consumer Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams OCC Consumer Advisory,
AARP’s Retirement Calculator has been redesigned. This financial tool has enhanced usability and accurate results. New features allow a user to develop a retirement plan for a dual-income family, and calculate and include Social Security benefits in their retirement income.
Ballpark Estimate The American Savings Education Council's (ASEC) Ballpark E$timate is an easy-to-use, two-page worksheet that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save for retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes complicated issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand.
My Retirement Paycheck, a Web site offered by NEFE, encourages individuals and couples to make smart decisions about retirement.
The U.S. Department of Labor, in cooperation with the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, offer this online Retirement Toolkit to help workers identify key issues related to retirement planning and understand important decisions related to employment-based plans, Social Security, and Medicare.
U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Retirement Plans for Small Businesses interactive Web site helps small businesses identify suitable retirement plans for their employees and businesses. The Web site provides employers with retirement plan options and describes the advantages and features of various plans.
When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait, is a toolkit offered by the National Academy of Social Insurance that includes a three-minute video (in English and Spanish), a one-page fact sheet, and a 16-page brief to educate workers nearing retirement about the advantages of delaying their Social Security benefits beyond age 62.
In Advisory Letter AL 2001-1 (PDF), the OCC provided national banks with information on the types of financial literacy programs that have been undertaken by banks and aspects of those programs that have been most important to their success.
Guidance to Encourage Financial Institutions' Youth Savings Programs and Address Frequently Asked Questions On February 24, 2015, the OCC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued "Guidance to Encourage Financial Institutions' Youth Savings Programs and Address Frequently Asked Questions." The interagency guidance answers common questions, including those related to Customer Identification Program requirements, that may arise as banks, savings associations, and credit unions collaborate with schools and other community stakeholders to facilitate youth savings and financial education programs. The guidance is intended to encourage financial institutions to develop and implement programs to expand youths' financial capabilities and to build opportunities for the financial inclusion of more families. This effort is consistent with the "Starting Early for Financial Success" focus of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, a body of 21 federal agencies, including the financial regulators, and the White House Domestic Policy Council.
HelpWithMyBank.gov The OCC’s HelpWithMyBank.gov Web site provides answers to approximately 250 commonly-asked banking questions. While targeted at national bank customers, the site answers many questions common to all banking consumers, provides useful information about contacting regulators of state banks, thrifts, and other financial institutions; and includes an online complaint form for bank customers wishing to register their concerns to the OCC. The site is also available in Spanish
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Community Affairs Fact Sheet entitled "Bank Savings Incentive Programs" (PDF) offers information on initiatives that encourage consumers to start or to increase savings by using bank deposit accounts.
School-Based Bank Savings Programs: Bringing Financial Education to Students (PDF) (April 2009).
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the Small Business Development Centers program to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. Nearly 1,000 SBDCs exist nationwide that provide a wide variety of information and guidance.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to encouraging the formation, growth, and success of small business through counseling and mentor programs.
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity is a national association of organizations committed to microenterprise development and maintains a clearinghouse of microenterprise development programs.
The Microfinance Gateway is a public forum for the microfinance industry at large that offers a wealth of tailored services for microfinance professionals, including resource centers on specific topics in microfinance, a searchable library of electronic documents, a consultant database, a new bulletin board, and specialized discussion groups. The Gateway's resources constitute a comprehensive source of information on microfinance on the World Wide Web, featuring 3900 online documents and over 900 listings of microfinance institutions (MFIs).
Money Smart for Small Business, an instructor-led small business curriculum created by the SBA and FDIC, is designed to provide introductory-style training for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. The 10 modules provide essential information on running a small business from a financial standpoint.
Consumer Alternatives for Receiving Income Tax Refunds (PDF) OCC Consumer Advisory, Spanish
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income ($49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing. To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1 (800) 906-9887.
Appleseed works to help underbanked populations—particularly immigrants and minorities—enter the financial mainstream.
Center for Financial Services Innovation's (CFSI) mission is to transform the U.S. financial services marketplace to help underbanked consumers achieve financial prosperity.
FDIC's National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (PDF) provides information, based on census data, on the U.S. households that are unbanked or underbanked, their demographic characteristics, and their reasons for being unbanked and underbanked.
The Actuarial Foundation, a nonprofit organization, offers its "Building Your Future," a financial literacy curriculum resource for high school teachers. Building Your Future is an Institute for Financial Literacy 2010 Curriculum of the Year Award winner.
The Alliance for Investor Education offers "Teaching Your Kids About Saving and Investing: A Guide for Parents," promotes 10 of the best Web-based resources that parents can use to teach their children how to save and invest, even in tough financial times.
The America’s Promise Alliance offers "Saving Our Futures: A Financial Responsibility Program for Young People." This online curriculum, available in English and Spanish, teaches students in middle and high school about financial responsibility. The program encourages students to become smarter money managers.
The American Bankers Association provides bankers with the tools to help youngsters gain the necessary skills they need to become financially astute. Programs cover saving, budgeting and credit, and are designed for students from kindergarten through college.
The Council for Economic Education provides personal finance and economics education through classroom curricula and the Internet. For example, its Financial Fitness for Life curriculum presents key concepts in economics and personal finance, using a variety of real life examples appropriate to particular age groups.
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) office at the U. S. Department of Education manages the Financial Aid Toolkit, a Web site that consolidates FSA resources into a searchable online database intended for use by organizations and individuals who interact with, support, or counsel students and families on making financial preparations for postsecondary education.
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy maintains a clearinghouse of resources that seek to promote financial literacy.
Junior Achievement (JA) brings volunteers into the classroom to make economic concepts relevant for grades K-12. JA offers financial literacy programs at every grade level K-12 in the classroom and after school. JA partners business volunteers with local classrooms, where JA volunteers facilitate lessons in financial literacy, workforce preparation, and economics. JA trains and prepares all volunteers and provides the lesson plans and materials.
Kids.gov - The Federal Citizen Information Center offers the official government Web site for children, where they can create, play and learn in a safe online environment free from advertisements. Kids.gov provides an extensive money section with topics that cover saving, spending and earning money.
Mapping Your Future is a new online counseling service that teaches students about borrowing, the basics of loans, loan eligibility requirements, repayment options, and ways to avoid delinquency.
Money Math: Lessons for Life is a curriculum supplement launched by a diverse partnership of private companies, nonprofit organizations, and the Treasury Department for students in grades 7-9 that addresses mathematical concepts using real-world financial scenarios.
Money Smart for Youth, is a curriculum form the FDIC that helps youth ages 12-20 learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions. Equipping young people in their formative years with the basics of financial education can give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to manage their finances once they enter the real world.
The National Academy Foundation (NAF) sponsors the Academy of Finance, a school-to-career curriculum operating in 40 states and 300 high schools, serving over 20,000 students. The OCC partners with schools or school districts in 28 locations across the country to support academies of finance. Banks serve as advisory board members to local affiliates and employ hundreds of students every summer through the academy's internship program.
The National Consumers League sponsors LifeSmarts, a national program that enlists the support of local partners to help teens become wise consumers. The LifeSmarts game-show style competition is for students in sixth grade through high school. The program complements the curriculum used in many middle schools and high schools and can be used as a rewarding and fun activity for classes, groups, clubs, and community organizations.
School-Based Bank Savings Programs: Bringing Financial Education to Students (PDF) (April 2009) OCC Community Developments Insights examines school-based bank savings programs as financial education initiatives to help students learn about the importance of saving and other money management topics. This edition of the OCC's Community Developments Insights discusses how school-based bank savings programs operate.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation (SIFMA) sponsors The Stock Market Game™, an online simulation of the global capital markets is designed for students in fourth grade through high school. The game introduces student to economics, investing, and personnel finance.
Studentaid.gov is a Web site from the U.S. Department of Education and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation containing information on obtaining money for higher education, including preparing for college, types of aid, qualifying for aid, applying for aid, and managing student loans.
TD Bank offers "WOW Zone" an interactive Web site to provide young children and teens with information on understanding the value and worth of money. Parents can help their children by reading the Web site’s stories and using the games. Educators can incorporate the suggested lesson plans in their classes.
The Young Americans Center for Financial Education promotes the financial literacy of young people. The center offers real life experiences and hands-on programs to help students build life skills, work skills, and financial self-sufficiency.