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The answer would be “yes” for the majority of adult consumers who complete financial education programs.

Gallup polled consumers six to 12 months after finishing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Money Smart course, which focuses on money management, banking skills and basic financial services education. A majority of participants reported increasing savings and falling debt and were more likely to comparison shop for financial service providers.

Other lasting behavioral changes included:

61% not using a spending plan at the end of the course had used one when polled.
95% using a spending plan at the end of the course continued to do so.
37% without a savings account had opened one.
12% increase in those who always paid bills on time.

The complimentary program—offered online or on CD-ROM in six languages—has had 864,000 users and prompted more than 120,000 consumers to establish new financial relationships.

Source: www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/index.html.

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