FDIC's Money Smart


Helping people achieve financial self-sufficiency

To help banks promote financial literacy in their communities, the FDIC created Money Smart, a free education program designed to bring more consumers into traditional banking relationships.

Money Smart includes materials for 10 training modules covering basic financial topics. The modules build on each other and increase in complexity. However, they may be presented in any order or in any combination, depending upon the interests and knowledge of the targeted audience. The 10 modules are:

  • Bank on It--An introduction to bank services.
  • Borrowing Basics--An introduction to credit.
  • Check It Out--How to choose and keep a checking account. Money Matters--How to keep track of your money.
  • Pay Yourself First--Why you should save, save, save.
  • Keep it Safe--Your rights as a consumer.
  • To Your Credit--How your credit history will affect your credit future.
  • Charge It Right--How to make a credit card work for you.
  • Loan to Own--Know what you're borrowing before you buy.
  • Your Own Home--What homeownership is all about.

Money Smart is uniquely designed. It can be taught in its entirety, or specific modules can be used to fill in the gaps in other financial education programs. It is not copyrighted, so it can be reproduced and widely disseminated.

Moreover, community banks can receive CRA credit for their involvement in offering Money Smart in their communities. And, it is free to banks and others interested in sponsoring financial education workshops.

In addition to an English version of Money Smart, a Spanish and CD-ROM versions were recently released, and Korean and Chinese-language versions are being developed. Instructions to obtain copies of the curriculum can be found by clicking on the FDIC's Money Smart link at www.fdic.gov, or by calling (202) 942-3404.

FDIC Chairman Don Powell has announced a goal of reaching one million consumers in all 50 states through partners in the Money Smart Alliance Program over the next five years.

"I see Money Smart as a tool kit to help folks begin building a more secure financial future for themselves," Powell said.

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