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Women with Low Literacy Skills More at Risk for Questionable Financial Behavior

Women and Financial Literacy

ProLiteracy today released its latest white paper, Women and Financial Literacy. The white paper examines low-literate women and their role as personal finance managers, their obstacles to financial management, their familiarity with personal credit scores, and their opinions about homeownership.

The report notes that roughly 14 million American women struggle every day with low literacy skills, unable to complete a job application, read a bank statement, or pass a driver’s exam. Financial literacy—that is, the ability to understand everyday financial matters such as debt, credit, saving, consumer rights, and how to make informed and effective decisions about earning, managing, investing and donating money—is an additional hurdle for these women.

Adults with low financial literacy skills may have difficulty understanding mortgage documents, bank statements, and credit card agreements, and may therefore be more vulnerable to questionable lending practices and risky financial behavior.

Through this study, ProLiteracy advocates for increased investments in new financial education programs for women, as women are increasingly involved in financial management for themselves or for their families.

The findings of Women and Financial Literacy will be presented in detail at the U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy on November 1, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., in Washington, D.C. The project was completed with support from Freddie Mac. Register now for conference or, for more information, email


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