Financial knowledge, financial management training, lowincome audience, welfare reform


This study examines the effects of one large financial management training program for low-income people. The data are from tests of pre- and posttraining financial knowledge of 163 participants. The test was designed to measure basic knowledge of participants in five content areas: predatory lending practices, public and work-related benefits, banking practices, savings and investing strategies, and credit use and interest rates.

The findings demonstrate that substantial pre-training knowledge deficiencies existed on basic financial management issues, especially on public and work-related benefits and savings and investing. Results also indicate that the program was effective in improving the financial knowledge of participants in each of the five content areas. Further analyses suggest that pre-training knowledge and levels varied according to participant characteristics. In addition, participants' education, English proficiency, race / ethnicity, and marital status were associated with their knowledge gains from the program. Policy and practice implications for developing effective financial management training for the low-income population are discussed.

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