What's New

IBT: Wireless Carriers Offer ‘Bad Credit’ Phone Plans to Riskier Customers

by U.S. Financial Diaries

The International Business Times featured USFD data as part of a larger piece on new wireless plans for customers with poor credit history.   Earlier this week, launched a new service that allows users with bad credit to sign up for a 2-year contract if they've paid their bills on time for 12 consecutive months. 

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Live Today: USFD Announces Early Findings

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Today researchers and national experts will share early findings from the U.S. Financial Diaries (USFD) project, which tracked every dollar earned, spent, borrowed, saved, and shared by 235 low- and moderate-income households in five states over the course of a year—thus providing a powerful picture of how millions of Americans work to make ends meet.  At the event, you will have first access to USFD findings, which highlight:

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Getting Through a Tough Year

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Each of the U.S. Financial Diaries' Household Profiles presents the financial life of one family in the USFD study. While these families are not necessarily representative of the total sample, they illustrate recurring themes: households struggling with income volatility, unplanned expenses, and finding ways to save and invest, but also using creative–and sometimes counter intuitive–budget and money management strategies to help make ends meet...

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NYT: In Lending Circles, a Roundabout Way to a Higher Credit Score

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Earlier this week, The New York Times published a feature on new initiatives aimed at bringing informal savings groups into the formal financial sector:

While informal lending circles among families, acquaintances, co-workers and neighbors are familiar to hundreds of millions of people all over the globe, they are rarely recognized by mainstream financial institutions.

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A Thriving Underground Money Culture

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, one of the nation’s leading center on retirement studies, recently reported on the findings of USFD's work on informal finance.  CRR highlighted the various types of informal financial arrangements (money guards, savings groups, saving at home, and interpersonal loans) and dug deeper into the inner workings of savings groups in particular:

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Vox on Poverty, Income Volatility, and USFD

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Earlier this week Vox highlighted research from the U.S. Financial Diaries focused on income volatility.

Through detailed data collection over the course of a year, USFD reveals hard-to-see aspects of the financial lives of working, one of which is the high level of uncertainty and unpredictability that households face when income flows are irregular...

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The New York Times, Vox Discuss Informal Finance

by U.S. Financial Diaries

Earlier this week, both The New York Times and Vox highlighted research from the U.S. Financial Diaries focused on informal finance.

Low-income households often do not have access to formal financial services and operate in the "invisible finance sector," leaving them with no credit history...

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Profile of A Single Mom's Financial Balancing Act

by U.S. Financial Diaries

The U.S. Financial Diaries project, a joint initiative of NYU Wagner’s Financial Access Initiative (FAI) and The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), reveals hard-to-see aspects of the financial lives of working Americans, providing new insight for the design of financial services policies, programs and products for a broad range of Americans...

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New Report on "Invisible Finance"

by U.S. Financial Diaries

People run their financial lives with a variety of tools. The first tools that come to mind are likely to be formal, like checking accounts and credit cards. But households often use informal tools that are harder to see from outside, like short-term loans from friends or relatives. Some people use informal financial services because they lack access—or believe they lack access—to quality products or because they do not trust formal options...

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Every Dollar In, Every Dollar Out

by Financial Access Initiative

Think back on the past year in your financial life: the money you received from work, loans or gifts, the purchases large and small, the bank deposits and withdrawals. Now imagine keeping track of every one of those transactions - regardless of your income level, it would be a mind-boggling endeavor...

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What's In It For Me?

by Julie Siwicki of the Financial Access Initiative

In mid-June the Stanford Social Innovation Review blogged the results of a survey they conducted. The survey’s purpose: to understand the role of academic research in the work of practitioners in a broad range of social, environmental and economic issue areas. Many of the 1,800 respondents described academic research as difficult to access, expensive, too narrow, and not relevant...

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Video: Jonathan Morduch Highlights USFD Research at NYU Wagner

by U.S. Financial Diaries

More than 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends of NYU Wagner celebrated the school's 75th anniversary on Thursday, June 12. The celebration began with faculty presenting their research highlights, or "WAGTalks."  FAI's Jonathan Morduch kicked off the series with an overview of the US Financial Diaries (USFD) project and its relevance in today's current economic debates...

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