Methodology

Initiative Overview
The U.S. Financial Health Pulse is a groundbreaking research initiative designed to shed light on the financial lives of Americans. Leveraging the CFSI Financial Health Score® measurement methodology, consumer surveys, and transactional records, The Pulse will provide a regularly refreshed snapshot of the country’s financial health and how it is changing over time.

Annual Benchmarking Studies
CFSI is working with researchers at the University of Southern California Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research to design, field, and analyze annual benchmarking surveys to members of the “Understanding America Study,” a nationally representative probability-based internet panel. All respondents who completed the 2018 baseline survey will be invited to subsequent benchmarking surveys, along with a new wave of participants to maintain sufficient sample size and representation. This hybrid study design will provide researchers with a unique opportunity to track how financial health is changing for the nation as a whole, as well as for individuals and households.

Transactional Data Collection
CFSI is also working with engineers and data analysts at Plaid to collect and analyze study participants’ transactional and account records in order to develop a financial health measurement framework based on these sources. A subset of respondents who completed the 2018 baseline survey will be invited to share their transactional and account data with researchers through Plaid’s data aggregation platform. Once financial accounts have been linked to the platform, researchers will be able to view participants’ transaction records and account balances, providing them an unprecedented opportunity to understand the financial lives of Americans through a combination of survey data and transactional records.

Looking Ahead: A Composite Framework
In 2020, the results of the survey data analysis and transactional data analysis will be brought together to provide a composite index that will assess and track changes in the financial health of Americans over time.

Download The Pulse Questionnaire

To download the questionnaire from the 2018 baseline survey, please provide your information below.



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