Financial Education and Counseling—Still Holding Promise


  • This paper was generously supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


This article reviews the evaluation literature on financial education and counseling for adults in order to synthesize implications for research and practice. Most evaluations report positive impacts, but the findings are often small when compared with valid comparison groups. Many evaluations use self-reported measures, measure outcomes over short time periods and cannot rule out selection bias due to nonrandomized designs, all of which may bias results. Although future research and practice in this field hold promise, more attention to theory-based evaluations and further investment in randomized field experiments may be fruitful.