financial literacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the Great Recession, it became clear that more people needed to learn financial literacy.

The housing-market collapse and subsequent financial crisis reminded Americans of their obsession with debt and the dangers of quick access to finances for under-informed consumers.

With April being National Financial Literacy Month, the free credit score website WalletHub released its report on 2019's "Most & Least Financially Literate States."

The report analyzes financial-education programs and consumer habits in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How much have Americans learned since then, and what are they doing to help future generations avoid repeating the same mistakes?

Not enough, it would seem.

Americans ended 2018 with $67 billion in new credit-card debt. That’s unsurprising, according to WalletHub, considering that only two in five adults actually have a budget.

Total American credit card debt passed $1 trillion for the first time ever in 2018.

The study used a data set of 17 key metrics, including the results of WalletHub’s WalletLiteracy Survey, which range from high-school financial literacy grade to share of adults with a rainy-day fund.

Louisiana ranked last at 51st, with a score of 51.01.

It ranked 48th in financial knowledge and education and 49th in financial literacy and financial planning and habits.

Virginia finished first with a score of 68.03. It was ranked second in financial knowledge and education, seventh in financial planning and habits and 28th in financial literacy.

It was followed by Utah, second at 68.97; New Hampshire, third at 67.36; New Jersey, fourth at 66.79; and Minnesota, fifth at 65.72.

Rounding out the top 10 were Maryland, sixth at 65.68; at Maine, seventh at 65.09; Colorado, eighth at 64.30; North Dakota, ninth at 63.68; and New York, 10th at 63.02.

The following is Louisiana’s breakdown.

  • 49th – WalletHub’s WalletLiteracy Survey score.
  • 26th – Percentage of adults age 18+ who spend more than they earn.
  • 42nd – Percentage of adults age 18+ with rainy-day funds.
  • 50th – Percentage of households that do not use banks.
  • 46th – Percentage of adults age 18+ paying only minimum on credit card(s).
  • 40th – Percentage of adults age 18+ who compare credit cards before applying.
  • 37th – High-school financial literacy grade.

For the full report, visit:

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