U.S. Financial Health Pulse

A rigorous, regularly refreshed snapshot of the financial health of U.S adults.

Thanks to recent research, our understanding of the financial lives of Americans is clearer than ever before.

We now know that more than half of the country is struggling financially. More than four in ten Americans would be unable to cover a $400 expense without borrowing or selling a possession.

Figures like these provide rich insights into the financial lives of Americans and shed light on how financial service providers can help consumers spend wisely, build savings, manage debt, and plan for the future.

However, until now, we have not had a systematic, regularly refreshed source of data to understand and track improvements in the financial lives of Americans.

For that reason, CFSI is launching the U.S. Financial Health Pulse – a groundbreaking research study designed to provide an ongoing snapshot of the financial lives of Americans. Such data will provide stakeholders across the financial health ecosystem with benchmarks to track their impact on the financial health of Americans over time. The Pulse will also consider financial health alongside other macroeconomic indicators such as wages, employment, healthcare, and education to understand how other sectors impact the financial lives of consumers.

How It Works

The Pulse will go beyond previous consumer studies by analyzing customer-level transactional data alongside survey data to paint a rich portrait of the financial lives of Americans. CFSI is partnering with the University of Southern California Dornsife College’s Center for Economic and Social Research to field the study and collect transactional data from their online panel, the Understanding America Study (UAS).

What’s Next

The first insights from the U.S. Financial Health Pulse will be available in late 2018, followed by periodic data releases to provide stakeholders with actionable insights to improve the financial lives of their customers and communities. Data sets from the study will be made available to academics and researchers looking to explore new avenues of financial health research.

Interested in learning more? Contact Thea Garon (tgaron@cfsinnovation.org) and subscribe to CFSI’s newsletter for project updates.

The U.S. Financial Health Pulse is made possible through a founding partnership with the Omidyar Network. Additional support is provided by MetLife Foundation, founding sponsor of CFSI’s financial health work, and AARP. The AARP Foundation, which works to increase economic opportunity and social connectedness for low-income people 50 and older, is also funding a part of this research.

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Advisory Council

Jo Ann Barefoot

Chief Executive Officer, Barefoot Innovation Group

Michael Barr

Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Kristen Berman

Co-Founder, Irrational Labs

Marla Blow

Founder and CEO, FS Card Inc.

Ray Boshara

Director, Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Jimmy Chen

Chief Executive Officer, Propel

Michael Collins

Faculty Director, The Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fiona Greig

Director of Consumer Research, JPMorgan Chase Institute

Dean Karlan

Professor of Economics and Finance, Northwestern University
Founder and President, Innovations for Poverty Action

Roderick K. King

CEO, Florida Institute for Health Innovation
Assistant Dean, Public Health Education, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Mo Khalil

General Manager Digital Guidance, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Genevieve Melford

Director of Insights and Evidence, Financial Security Program, The Aspen Institute

Amelia Parnell

Vice President for Research and Policy, NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Dan Quan

Fintech Thought Leader

Rachel Schneider

Author, "The Financial Diaries: How Americans Cope in a World of Uncertainty"

Ellen Seidman

Non-Resident Fellow, Urban Institute

Luz Urrutia

Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity Fund

Justine Zinkin

Chief Executive Officer, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners

U.S. Financial Health Pulse