Today, we’re releasing a core set of financial outcomes to help human services organizations demonstrate the value of building financial empowerment and capability initiatives into their work.
Many of these organizations help people access housing, jobs, emergency assistance, or other services they may need to address crises, achieve economic independence, or build assets. Including financial empowerment in these services can help individuals improve their financial well-being. For example, if an individual knows how to get and read their free annual credit report, that skill may help them improve their credit score which, in turn, may lead to securing a job or an affordable place to live.
To this end, we have developed five core financial capability and empowerment outcomes that can be used across programs to provide a common framework and language for demonstrating success of integrating financial empowerment into existing programs. This core set of recommended financial outcomes is designed to:
- Help inform and guide service delivery organizations and those who design, fund, or evaluate service programs assess the value of integrating financial capability and empowerment into human services programs.
- Provide a suggested core set of outcomes for the field.
- Augment, not displace, current programmatic outcomes and accommodate a broad range of different program types.
As shown in the table below, the five core financial capability and empowerment outcomes we identified are:
- Planning and goals
- Bill payment
- Credit profile
- Financial well-being
We’ve included financial well-being in the core set because it is the ultimate goal of financial empowerment, capability, and education efforts. We have a specific measure for this core outcome: the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale . This is an outcome measure based on a consumer-derived definition of financial well-being that includes concepts of financial security and freedom of choice, now and for the future.
|CORE ONE||CORE TWO||CORE THREE||CORE FOUR||CORE FIVE|
|Planning and goals||Savings||Bill payment||Credit profile||Financial well-being|
|Description||Setting up a plan or goal||Having savings or habit||Improvement in bill paying||Improvement in credit profile; thin file or no
score to demonstrated credit history
sense of financial security and freedom of choice
|Options for indicators
|Plan in place
Goal in place
Active use of plan or
|Regularity of savings
Automaticity of saving
Setting up a rainy day or emergency fund
Percent of income saved
|On-time bill payment
Fewer late fees
How person prioritizes if insufficient funds
|Fewer late payments/number of delinquent payments
Increase in credit score
Alternative data reported, e.g., utility bills (incling for thin or no file consumers)
“Becoming visible”—gaining credit history
|CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale
10 item (standard) version
5 item (abbreviated)
|Source||Self- or staff-reported, or tracked||Self-reported or account status||Self- or staff-reported, or credit report||Credit report and/or credit score||Self-reported|
|Level||Household or individual||Household or individual||Household or individual||Individual||Individual|
Building financial empowerment strategies into existing programs will be more sustainable if programs can demonstrate measurable and meaningful financial outcomes alongside their other program objectives. Through these efforts, organizations that provide financial services or support can help those they serve achieve financial well-being.
Learn more about financial empowerment.