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Teaching Low Income and New Immigrant Populations


The focus of financial literacy training with low-income populations is on cash and debt management. Individuals in this population which include many female single heads of family main challenge is corralling enough resources to meet their needs. In addition this population may fall prey to the most expensive forms of credit such as cash checking and payday loans. Often moving them to mainstream banking can significantly reduce their cost of debt. Doing effective research to make full use of public benefits and other resources is an important skill. This skill set transfers to important comparison shopping skills that can reduce family expenses and later serve to help them choose financial services. The Individual Development Account (IDA) where low-income families have the opportunity to have their savings matched has been very effective in helping families achieve their financial goals.


New immigrant populations respond to financial literacy training because they are intent on improving the status of the next generation.


Jacob, K., Hudson, F. and Bush, M. (2000) Tools for Survival: An Analysis of Financial Literacy Programs for Low Income Families, Woodstock Institute

Bailey, W. Sorhaindo, B., and Garman, T. (2003) Educational Desires of Credit Counseling Clients. Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

Rand, D. (2004) Financial Education and Asset-Building Programs for Welfare Recipients and Low-income Workers:  The Illinois Experience

Lyons, A. and Scherpf, E. (2004) Moving from unbanked to banked: Evidence from the Money Smart program.

Hogarth, J. and Swanson, J. (1995) Using Adult Education Principles in Financial Education for Low Income Audiences

Clancy, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M. and Schreiner, M. (2001) Financial Education and Savings Outcomes in Individual Development Accounts

Lusardi, A (2005) Financial Education and the Saving Behavior of African-American and Hispanic Households

Native American FinancialLiteracy Coalition (2003) Financial Education in Native Communities:A Briefing Paper

66 Ways to Save Money











This website is maintained by Leslie Lum and does not reflect the opinions or position of Bellevue Community College.  Contact if you have any questions.

Last updated: 1/17/07