New Financial Assessment Tool Helps Consumers with Financial Health
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has launched a free online financial resource tool for consumers. MyMoneyCheckUp  is designed to provide an assessment of a consumer's overall financial health and behavior in four designated areas of personal finance: budgeting and credit management, saving and investing, planning for retirement, and managing home equity.
This new tool was created to align with the U.S. Treasury's Financial Education Core Competencies, and is an example of successful collaboration between community-based nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and the public and private sectors.
"The NFCC is proud to bring this new financial education resource to consumers," said Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC. "People are eager to take control of their financial well-being, and the MyMoneyCheckUp tool is definitely the place to start."
The tool provides customized feedback to users, allowing individuals and families to monitor and assess their financial lives, and consequently, adjust their behaviors in order to maximize their economic empowerment.
After answering a series of topic-specific questions, a personalized assessment of the individual's overall financial health and associated behaviors is generated. With areas of concern identified, the analysis suggests changes that consumers are encouraged to implement in order to become more financially independent. The traditional red, yellow, and green traffic light colors signal whether the consumer should continue on the current money path (green), proceed with caution (yellow), or stop and make a change (red). Individuals can also complete an optional budget to further help them assess their financial health.
NFCC's implementation of this tool was made possible by a contribution from Citi Community Development.
"Online platforms that permit underserved people to monitor their economic progress are extremely valuable in making financial empowerment sustainable," said Natalie Abatemarco, director of national programs for Citi Community Development. "Citi has developed and supports similar tools in conjunction with other programs that provide access to savings and credit-building, and we will continue to work with our partners to enable people to remain actively engaged in their own economic empowerment."
The original version of this tool - created for research purposes - was developed through the support of the Social Security Administration's Financial Literacy Research Consortium as well as an Engagement Impact grant from The Ohio State University's Office of University Outreach and Engagement, in partnership with the following researchers: Stephanie Moulton & Cäzilia Loibl, The Ohio State University; J. Michael Collins, University of Wisconsin, and Anya Savikhin, University of Chicago.