Over the years it has become increasingly clear that financial literacy is lacking across far too great a population. Credit counseling businesses are on the increase because the general populace does not know how to protect credit or how to build financial stability. Generally, clients are in significant financial trouble: federal tax debts in the thousands..... eminent foreclosures... poor understanding of their credit report and related issues... uncertainty about why personal or business loans are refused... and on & on.
The proof of these statements is in the increasing foreclosure rate of new homeowners. Lenders who have developed a number of financial alternatives for first-time home buyers have stated that well formulated buyer education is one of the keys to successful transition to home ownership, helping to assure that these clients remain in their homes and go on to purchase other properties.
By the time an individual achieves society’s consideration of adulthood, they are already working from a financial awareness deficit. The knowledge and discipline of money management is foreign to them and frustration, disappointment, and a sense of futility has begun to set in. Our younger generation is in desperate need of financial education and empowerment.
College students, who are just embarking on financial self-sufficiency and growth, are often met with advertisements for credit that they are ill equipped to handle. By the time they complete college, not only are they reimbursing lenders for student loan debt, but they may also find themselves in significant credit card debt that will take years to repay.The general adult population’s problem is three-fold; a lack of practical, post secondary, broad-based financial education, a lack of financial literacy and misplaced financial priorities.
Many senior adults, who have lived in their homes for decades and face the inability to make home repairs and maintain their lifestyle, while on fixed incomes, often fall prey to predatory lenders. They may be unable to understand the “fine print” that ensnares them in a web of debt from which they cannot recover. They may fall victim to so-called contractors who will only rob the homeowners and not provide adequate services.
As often is the case, and as drastic as the situation appears, the solution is simplistic in nature.
Education: Familiarization with information used in achieving financial vision, (goals and objectives), and stability, which protects the general population, at all levels of maturity from predatory and unethical practices, as well as the development of healthy financial activity.
Assistance: Aligning serious individuals with persons, institutions and organizations, which are aware of and sensitive to the financial climate in our community.
Empowerment: Development of the tools and vehicles, which will allow individuals to participate in the financial arena on a more level playing field....