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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Financial literacy in Tennessee
After the Great Recession, it became clear that more people needed to learn financial literacy. The housing-market collapse after the financial crisis reminded Americans of our obsession with debt and the dangers of quick access to finances for poorly informed consumers. But how much have we learned since, and what are we doing to help future generations avoid repeating our mistakes? Not enough, it would seem. We ended 2017 with $92.2 billion in new credit-card debt, the highest increase since 2007. Thatís unsurprising, considering that only two in five adults actually have a budget. For the first time ever, total American credit card debt has passed $1 trillion, so itís clear that better financial education is necessary to try to turn this trend around. In order to find the states with the best financial literacy, WalletHub, a personal finance website, analyzed financial-education programs and consumer habits ó combined with a literacy survey in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The key metrics ranges from high-school financial literacy to the share of adults with rainy-day funds. Tennessee ranks 51....at the bottom, with the worst literacy score in the country in the Financial Knowledge and Education category. Researchers found residents in the state as a whole have a low credit score and are weak in financial literacy. Jill Gonzalez is a Financial Analyst with WalletHub and she talked to the NewsSource about ways to improve financial literacy in Tennessee. "The state could have a financial literacy requirement before graduating from high school. And Tennesseans should be spending less than they earn which right now is not necessarily the case, " says Gonzalez. Currently, the Trump Administration is trying to limit the regulatory authority of the Consumer Protection Agency....so should consumers be expected to educate themselves or should financial service providers be regulated by the government? "The Federal Consumer Protection Agency has helped alot of people with pay-day loans and similar situations, and consumers may not be aware of these things unless a third party does an investigation. We now have more protection with things like credit cards and if those protections are removed I think alot of consumers would be unhappy," adds Gonzalez.


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