This is the second of two briefs that examine the interplay between education and skills-building programming for lower income individuals and families in the areas of marriage and relationships, financial literacy, and asset development. It explores how communication, marriage and divorce, money management, credit and debt, children and child support, and other issues affect and/or are affected by familial and financial well-being. Also, it offers tips for practitioners working with couples to build intimacy and stable relationships with each other and with their finances. The brief focuses on romantic couple relationships and marriage; however, sharing financial resources can also bring benefits and challenges for co-parents, within extended families, and even between parents and children."
Changes in the housing and credit markets during the past year have led to increased recognition that developing comprehensive family-based money and credit strategies is critical in the short-term to weather financial storms, but also for long-term financial health of the children. Financial stability strongly interacts with family relationships. Each area can strengthen or challenge the other. Shocks to the pocketbook can foster conflict and seriously impact the stability of a couple’s relationship as well as their finances, especially when there are no rainy-day funds and little knowledge of where to turn for help. Relationships can become more vulnerable if bills pile up. On the other hand, strong relationships and familial support can act as a buffer during financial hardship.
Greater understanding of the similarities, differences, and interdependencies between relationships with a partner or spouse and one’s finances can better equip us for the task of increasing the stability of American families. Research shows that people who marry build more wealth over their lifetime compared with those who remain single. However, credit problems remain a leading reason that relationships dissolve. When people marry, they combine their lives, their finances, and their credit history, whether it is good or bad. Debts brought into a marriage pose one of the biggest problems for young couples.1 As debt increases, marital satisfaction decreases and results in less time spent together as a couple and more arguments over money.2 More than 70 percent of divorcing couples report that money and credit abuse by a spouse are contributing factors to their parting.3 Relationship skills and financial educators can play a key role in helping couples manage their individual financial histories to create a more financially secure future together.
This is the second of two briefs that examine the interplay between education and skills-building programming for lower income individuals and families in the areas of marriage and relationships, financial literacy, and asset development. It explores how communication, marriage and divorce, money management, credit and debt, children and child support, and other issues affect and/or are affected by familial and financial well-being. Also, it offers tips for practitioners working with couples to build intimacy and stable relationships with each other and with their finances. These briefs are intended for practitioners working in any of these areas and interested in learning more about the other fields and potential collaboration or idea exchange.
The brief focuses on romantic couple relationships and marriage; however, sharing financial resources can also bring benefits and challenges for co-parents, within extended families, and even between parents and children.
The first brief, Stable and Healthy Relationships and Finances, provided an overview of marriage and relationship skills education, financial education, and asset building programs and highlighted opportunities for collaboration. That brief described these fields’ common goals and complementary strategies for improving the stability of low-income families.
This brief builds on that foundation to focus on key areas where marital and financial stability overlap. While relationship education practitioners are generally aware of the importance of financial issues within relationships, the relevance of family and relationship issues may be less apparent to practitioners in financial education and/or asset building programs. These programs are more likely to focus on individuals and may ask an individual to develop goals for his or her family, but staff may not be comfortable delving into what are seen as “personal” issues, such as romantic and marital relationships. This brief explores concepts that impact both financial and familial stability, and describes how helping low-income participants in asset building and financial education programs build their relationship skills is relevant to building their financial literacy skills and fostering their overall well-being.
Talking about Money and Credit in Relationships
Many Americans frequently see or hear about how credit can increase family funds or solve money problems, whether by opening a new credit card through an application received in the mail or in advertisements about how people who have credit troubles can access new lines of credit. While talking about credit has become an everyday phenomenon in the media, understanding the intricacies and implications of various credit offers and possibilities is far less common.
When contemplating the future of a relationship, people frequently ask themselves, “Am I ready for a serious relationship?” However, people often do not ask, “Am I ready for a serious relationship with someone else’s credit?” Both marriage and relationship skills educators and financial experts recommend that individuals in a relationship explore how they can make financially sound decisions together. These advisors may offer educational programs to help couples think through deep emotional relationship and communication issues, as well as the financial dos and don’ts that may surface when two lives merge. This “financial intimacy” is a core element of a solid relationship or marriage.
Bringing couples to a shared understanding of what they want to do financially as a team requires that they understand themselves and each other, as well as learn more about money and credit together. Figure 1 presents a couples quiz suggested by the well-regarded American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort. Although specific program approaches may differ, many of the underlying messages are the same in numerous curricula about marriage and financial planning. First, avoiding the topic of finances altogether may be tempting, but it is not constructive. Second, there is no universal right answer, but the process of working out a financial plan tailored to the needs and goals of a couple is essential because honest communication is the core of both healthy relationships and healthy finances. Third, regardless of the financial plan, life circumstances change, and developing skills to revise and implement the plan together may build confidence and resilience. Overall, from the perspectives of both the financial educator and the marriage and relationship skills educator, differences in approaches to finances between life partners are inevitable and natural. How these differences are reconciled is what matters.
Typically, in the transition to becoming a couple, the task of retaining one’s personal identity and creating a new joint identity can be tricky. Navigating this transition requires sensitivity and developing a shared understanding about what each person brings to the relationship and wants from it. One model of relationship attachment, summarized in Figure 2, highlights the importance of sequential development of knowledge, trust, reliance, and commitment to a partner based on increasing time with and understanding of each other. Many components of this sequential model can be applied to individual relationships with credit as well. It suggests that gradually demystifying the unknown in marital or financial relationships—instead of rushing forward—can be helpful in avoiding some of the downsides of relying on partners or financial institutions that one may not understand.
Building a Joint Relationship with Credit
This section discusses three financial and three relationship issues that are important to success in finances and in love. From a financial perspective, knowledge of the types of credit, joint vs. separate accounts, and credit scores will help couples build credit together. In turn, financial missteps can be avoided by understanding how to handle the common relationship themes of communication, children and child support, and extended family.
Once couples are ready to invest in their life together, obtaining mainstream credit is important and often necessary. Using credit to borrow funds may be imperative because it can serve as the bridge that allows couples to purchase desired assets. Although their resources are often limited, many low-income families are already saving money and using credit. However, about one fifth of low-income families are unbanked, that is they do not have a connection to a formal financial institution.4 Therefore, their savings may grow more slowly or lose value in the face of inflation and can result in more obstacles to using credit to become an owner or investor.5 Making use of mainstream financial institutions is important because there is some evidence that the having to withdraw money from the bank or not having money easily accessible in one’s wallet can reduce obstacles to saving.6
There are several reasons for couples to use credit to help attain joint financial goals. Some constructive suggestions for using credit are explained below. In addition to understanding the ways that credit can be helpful, it is important to understand the drawbacks. Because of the variety of credit products available, this is not a simple matter.
Although obtaining credit can be helpful to reaching a couple’s goals, it can be risky and requires taking on debt. It is important for couples to distinguish between good and bad debt to understand when taking out a loan will actually help increase their assets in the long run. Good debt is an investment, like student loans, retirement savings, or starting a business, and it creates value. Whereas bad debt has no potential to increase in value, except for the creditor. When faced with bad debt, it is vital to reduce and eventually alleviate it.
Types of Credit
There are different types of credit to meet different short-term and long-term needs, such as credit cards and loans. Credit cards allow cardholders to make purchases on credit and then they receive a monthly bill, which they can choose to pay in full each month or pay less, allowing a revolving credit to form. This means that credit card companies will allow individuals to carry balances, on which they charge interest. Accumulation of credit card debt is especially risky for economically vulnerable families.7
Loans include mortgages, home equity loans, and student loans that allow couples to make immediate investments in assets, such as a home or investments in education that can build earnings potential. Two of the most popular mortgage loans are fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). A fixed-rate mortgage, which has traditionally been the industry standard, is a loan for a fixed number of years at an unchangeable interest rate. ARMs change based on the fluctuations of the interest rate.8 There are three major categories of education loans: student loans, parent loans, and private student loans.
Joint versus Separate Accounts
The different forms of savings or credit account ownership are individual, authorized user, cosigner, and joint types. Spouses most often have joint accounts, allowing two named borrowers on an account. In this case, the credit history of both borrowers is used to determine eligibility and both are responsible for the debt accrued. Figure 3 addresses some of the issues to consider when deciding whether couples join accounts and credit or keep them separate.
Because credit history is important to obtaining credit, knowledge of each partners’ credit scores is critical. A FICO score (named for the Fair Isaac Corporation that created it) is a mainstream credit score that determines the interest rate on credit cards, car loans, home mortgages, as well as one’s ability to obtain a cell phone or get an application for a rental apartment accepted. Low credit scores translate into paying higher interest rates on credit cards and loans.
FICO scores are determined by five factors:
- record of paying bills on time,
- total balance on credit cards and other loans compared to total credit limit,
- length of credit history,
- new accounts and recent applications for credit; and
- and mix of credit cards and loans.
While some may believe not having a FICO score can help avoid being seen as a bad credit risk, it is actually necessary to have one. Without a score, it is difficult to get a loan because without a credit history a person is an unknown to companies and banks. To start building a credit history, companies will allow individuals to obtain cards based on income. It is important to note that interest rates may be higher for unknowns.
Building Credit Together
Because couples share their personal and financial lives, they must take steps toward building credit together. Before doing so, it is necessary to determine how much debt and the sources of debt that a couple has accumulated. Experts urge people to write down everything they owe, listing debts with the highest interest rates first. Then, a couple can look at their list and start saving money by switching to credit or charge cards with lower interest rates.
When a couple gets married, they share debt from credit cards and loans as well as each other’s credit ratings. Marrying someone with good credit allows an individual to gain access to this good credit. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well. Marrying someone with bad credit has negative implications, subjecting someone to higher interest rates or being denied credit because of the risk a partner may pose.9
To illustrate how different couples approach building their credit together, Figure 4 presents the stories of two hypothetical couples that face similar challenges as they decide to take the next step in their relationships. Each couple handles their relationships and finances in diverse ways that lead to different outcomes. The first story illustrates how a couple’s relationships with each other and with credit became more attached over time. This couple did not start off with the same approach to finances, but developed strategies to build healthy communication and spending habits. The second story illustrates a couple who remained stuck in a pattern of unhealthy communication and spending that augmented over time. Instead of becoming more attached, their relationship with each other and their credit histories both suffered.
As illustrated in Figure 4, healthy communication between two partners is essential to the success of a marriage. Avoidance of certain topics, like finances or credit history, may indicate hidden issues and concerns about acceptance. Money can be a difficult topic, especially talking about different cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds, the meaning of money and spending styles. Without addressing the topic of money, the relationship and finances may suffer.10 Conflict resolution, whether with a specific partner or a creditor or both, can be a key to improving financial and relationship situations.
When parents are divorced or never married, child support is the obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver, or guardian. Non-custodial fathers who have never been married to the mother of their child are obligated to pay child support as long as paternity for that child is established. If child support payments are not made, non-custodial parents accrue arrears and can face penalties depending on their state of residence. Paying child support, and providing for children that are not shared with a current partner, can add a layer of complexity when parents are establishing new marital and financial relationships.
Lending money between family members can be tricky with consequences affecting the closest, most important relationships, as well as finances. It is easy to feel no pressure to pay back a family member; however, it is vital to treat a family loan just like a financial institution. Experts urge family members to be as specific as possible about the terms of the loan: how often payments will be made, what day they will be made, and the interest rate.11 Conversely, it is easy to feel an obligation to support family members in times of trouble. Being able to set boundaries and assure that the couple relationship is respected in the context of competing requests from different family members and even families is not a simple matter.
Credit Changes as Life Changes
Plan for the Best and Prepare for the Worst
Life brings anticipated and unanticipated events that can affect a couple’s financial decision-making and relationship. These events can enhance or disrupt the credit path, creating consequences for credit and solvency. Often, these major life events can be the catalyst for financial and credit damage. Financial consequences of negative life events include fines, negative credit rating, loss of home, and bankruptcy. While it is possible to plan for positive life events, negative ones are often unpredictable. The best strategy for couples to circumvent financial distress is to make plans together to prepare themselves for anything and everything. As illustrated by the two couples scenarios in Figure 4, couples such as Andrew and Erica who have strong communication skills and have thought about their finances start off in a better place to deal with life changes. Overall, couples should be encouraged to plan for the best and prepare for the worst.
Getting married and starting a family are life events that many individuals strive for. Research has shown the positive financial benefits in terms of wages and accumulation of wealth for couples who are married and stay married.12 If something serious happens such as unemployment or health problems, having a spouse can help one to get through the hard times. However, being married also can increase the risks of negative life events and it is vital for couples to be financially prepared.
Obtaining financial goals can demand an increase in expenses and requires strategic and informed planning. For instance, couples must think ahead about how to keep their finances afloat if one will leave the workforce to raise children. Questions that experts recommend couples ask themselves include, “Can your family survive only on one income?”; “Can you downshift the fixed expenses?”; and “What is your emergency backup plan?”13
Other negative life events—such as involuntary job loss, illness or disability of oneself or a family member, and divorce—may have negative financial consequences and can increase the immediate need for cash flow, which can threaten healthy finances if credit is not used wisely. Studies have shown that the risk of these events has increased dramatically in the past 30 years.14 The table below provides a few examples of negative life events and the possible consequences.
|Life Event||Threats to Healthy Finances and Credit|
|Involuntary job loss||Lack of sufficient savings to pay bills and credit payments|
|Wage earner misses work due to either his or her or a family member’s illness or disability||Lack of insurance and/or paid leave to defray the costs of missing work|
|Divorce||Abuse of credit by partners, child support payments|
If a disastrous life event strikes, financial ruin may start slowly, but it can quickly pick up speed. Not many families have enough money saved to cope with a devastating life event and they can run out of money within a short amount of time. Job loss, divorce, and medical emergencies all result in the loss of funds that are needed to keep up with minimum credit payments. Once this happens, credit scores can begin to fall.
Surviving Job Loss
Surviving financially after losing a job can be daunting, but there are strategies to help. Job loss often causes debt to accumulate fast, especially because it is difficult to pay off debt when out of work. Planning is a key step and experts recommend preparing a budget that reflects the money that will be needed while looking for a new job. Couples who have developed a family financial strategy and have experience communicating about financial issues are in a stronger position when they experience a job loss. For example, Andrew and Erica from the couples scenario have already come together to resolve their financial differences and are more likely than Kim and Gabe, the couple that has not developed healthy communication about finances, to successfully negotiate a new financial strategy under stress.
Insurance can help couples protect their families. Health insurance and disability coverage are critical for couples because of rising health care costs and because they are more likely to experience disability than premature death. Although health insurance often does not cover all health care costs, it can provide enough assistance to make the difference between staying afloat and declaring bankruptcy. Experiencing a medical problem and lacking health insurance also is associated with increased credit card debt.15 If couples have joint credit cards, this means that that both partners will be assuming this debt for the health care crisis.
Divorce can render relations hostile between partners, so protecting credit and assets can help people avoid financial consequences. Although divorce is emotionally charged for both partners, couples who have developed a financial plan and have strong knowledge of total family finances will likely be in better positions to negotiate with each about how to separate finances. For couples where one partner has all financial knowledge or where partners have been dishonest with each other (such as the hidden child support payments of Gabe from the couples scenario) can make a difficult situation even worse.
Some financial dos and don’ts when divorcing include the following:
- Do prepare a budget and financial plan to sustain you until the divorce is final.
- Do review monthly bank and financial statements.
- Don't make large purchases or create additional debt that might later cause financial hardship
- Don't transfer or give away assets that are owned jointly.
Where to Turn for Help
In addition to marriage and relationship skills educators and financial educators, there are other financial tools that provide couples with options for improving their relationship with their partner and their credit. These tools include electronic payroll transfers, alternative credit scores, envelope budgeting, credit counseling, bankruptcy as well as programs to use credit to build assets, such as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and Marriage Development Accounts (which were discussed in Brief 1). Resources that can help address financial consequences brought on by family issues include help with child support payments and divorce mediation.
Other practical steps can make good financial practices the “default option” for couples. For example, direct deposit of earnings has been shown to lead to higher rates of savings.16 However, this option may be less available for employees who have lower wages or work less than full time. Secured credit cards are another example that can provide a training experience with credit. Automating the process of ordering a free credit report annually, thereby making receiving the report the default option, might also be helpful to couples.
Electronic Direct Deposit or Electronic Payroll CardsIf employers offer direct deposit of paychecks into savings or checking accounts, most financial experts recommend doing this because, on average, people who use direct deposit services save more than if they received their paycheck in traditional hard-copy form. For couples who are attempting to stay on their family budget, this can be a simple yet effective solution to curbing spending.
Alternative Credit Scores
For low- and moderate-income couples with bad credit or a lack of credit, alternative credit scores can provide a solution. Many people with low incomes use cash, write checks, or use debit cards instead of using credit, and therefore do not develop credit histories. The Fair Isaac Corporation, creators of the FICO score, introduced the FICO Expansion score to aid individuals without established credit histories. This method of credit scoring involves using utility payments, such as water and electricity, as a way to measure an individual’s ability to pay their debts. An Anthem score is another nontraditional credit score. Designed to assess the risk of potential borrowers with little or no traditional credit history, it incorporates additional indicators like rental history and utility payments into its model. Making use of alterative credit scores can give couples with low incomes improved access to credit based on their past success in making payments.
Envelope budgeting is a method where cash is divided into different, categorized envelopes. These envelopes are labeled for categories of spending including required spending, like a mortgage, groceries, and medical bills, and discretionary spending, such as eating out, entertainment, and shopping. As cash is divided into envelopes, it is immediately visible to all family members what on-hand cash is available to pay bills, make purchases, and contribute to savings. This method is simple to set up and manage and allows each partner to be completely aware of their financial situation.
Families must carefully consider if it makes sense to work with such a credit counselor, as much of this work can be done by the individual. Selecting a reputable, responsible organization is critical since some disreputable organizations prey on struggling families. Check out credit counselors with the state Attorney General, local consumer protection agency, or the Better Business Bureau.
Managing debt and building good credit can be challenging and there are some very good, well-known nonprofit and community organizations that can help couples get back on track. One organization is the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) (www.nfcc.org). Programs like NFCC ask borrowers to turn over all their credit cards and for a $10 monthly fee and a check, NFCC will pay the debtor’s bills. By doing this, the counselors are able to negotiate and secure a lower interest rate than the borrower; thereby reducing the total loan amount and time required for payback. However, if both members of a couple with joint accounts do not agree to be involved, there is little that credit counseling can do for joint debt. Another drawback to this service is that in most cases, for seven years a borrower’s credit report will contain a line stating that he or she paid through NFCC. However, some credit companies view this as a positive move toward taking control of debt. Some credit counseling operations are financed by lenders and using them may have other consequences. And couples should be cautious that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Figure 5 presents the basic steps in acquiring credit counseling assistance.
As a last resort, bankruptcy is sometimes the only answer to starting fresh and rebuilding credit and finances. Declaring bankruptcy has serious long term financial implications and therefore should not be undertaken lightly. When an individual files for bankruptcy, the court takes control over all assets and orders them to be liquidated and used to repay creditors. For 10 years, the declaration of bankruptcy will appear on credit reports, which will likely make insurance and payments more expensive. When considering bankruptcy, first look to see if it is possible to pay off debts within the next two years. If the answer is no, then filing for bankruptcy might be considered.
Family breakup is one of the top three reasons that families with children cite as the cause of bankruptcy.17 Experts advise families to wait until the crisis that resulted in financial disaster passes before filing for bankruptcy, so the risk of increased debts after filing is minimized. If there is nowhere else to turn, bankruptcy offers the opportunity to have a fresh start, but at a cost that is better avoided if possible.
Help With Child Support Payments
Research shows that child support is an important source of income for single parents, yet many low-income single parents, who are often mothers, receive inconsistent payments from non-custodial parents.18 There are several reasons for the irregular payments that include: constraints on non-custodial parents’ ability to pay such as spells of unemployment; non-custodial parent is incarcerated; tensions about the amount of the child support payment especially if they are several delinquent payments; non-custodial parents’ concerns about how the income is spent by the custodial parent.
There are currently programs in different states designed to help non-custodial parents who make a good faith effort to make more consistent payments. These programs assist with the following:
- Better align obligations with fathers’ ability to pay and make it easier to modify order if needed.
- Forgive arrears if non-custodial parents make good faith efforts to make payments.
- Reduce the amount of child support that non-custodial parent reimburses the government so that more income goes to low-income children.
- Through marriage and family strengthening programs, improve parents’ communications skills to help deflate conflicts over child support payments could lead to more consistent payments over time.
- Set up electronic payment systems that include direct deposits into savings account or debit cards.
Although child support payments are cash transfers that occur within families from one parent to another, they can also be used build by families to build future assets for children.
Divorce and Child Custody Mediation
Divorce has both emotional and financial consequences for parents and can be especially hard on children during child custody negotiations. Although divorce is difficult, encouraging a process to keep parents’ communication levels open and honest about their children and their financial situations is important for children’s well being during and after the divorce. Experts suggest that parents consider using collaborative forums for child custody negotiation such as mediation rather than litigation. Research has shown that for families who had been randomly assigned to mediate rather than litigate child custody disputes, nonresidential parents who were more involved in their children’s lives, had lower conflicts with the residential parent and had greater influence in co-parenting 12 years after their child custody dispute was resolved.
Fostering Collaboration to Resolve Couples Financial Problems
Forgiveness is an important concept for couples who have financial problems. Couples need to talk over past mistakes, come to a level of forgiveness, and focus on going through every bill and financial statement to develop a viable financial strategy. This process takes time, trust, and commitment in relationships to move forward. The advice of marriage and relationship skills and financial educators working together can help couples to set realistic goals and work through problems.
Financial and relationship skills educators are often in the position of helping couples to address past mistakes. Some of these mistakes may have been individual mistakes and some may have occurred with other partners. Either way, the financial aspects are often linked with emotional issues. A few key preventive steps may save a great deal of trauma later. The financial checklist that is often part of premarital preparation is also a key part of financial literacy for couples. It highlights that avoiding the day-to-day issues of financial health can lead to day-to-day problems. Figure 6 provides some tips from practitioners working with couples to help their financial planning and solving financial problems.
Another common theme from both fields is that there is no one solution that fits every couple, and part of creating a healthy relationship and healthy finances is that couples need to work through their own situation together. Building the communication and conflict resolution skills to be able to do this is hard work. Again, both financial and marriage skills educators agree that success comes from how problems are handled, as all couples face emotional and financial decisions and complexities.
Perhaps the most common theme for financial and relationship skills educators is finding an early point of entry into a couple’s life. Help-seeking steps are often taken when problems have become large and overwhelming, yet resolution may be easier the earlier that the problems are detected. In looking for ways to change the default options to promote financial and family stability, it could be that premarital counseling is a natural point of entry. Other potential entry points where materials could be distributed, practitioners could refer to other programs, or staff could be cross-trained include:
- credit counseling specialists,
- bank loan officers,
- local pastors,
- wedding planners,
- pediatricians at well-baby visits,
- new parents’ goodie bags,
- IDA participants, and
- marriage education participants.
In addition, marriage and relationship skills education providers who are helping noncustodial parents improve communication with their partners can also help them develop financial strategies by working with the local child support agency to help develop realistic payment plans to address accumulated arrears, make immediate referrals to reputable credit counselors, and make referrals to employment and job training programs. Several community-based marriage education programs serving couples have forged strong links with financial literacy and home ownership programs to help couples continue to address immediate financial issues, plan for the future, and develop assets. At the same time, IDA programs are encouraged to build linkages with local marriage education and family strengthening programs to address the sometimes thorny conversations about money and credit.
Family-focused services that build both relationship and financial skills have much promise. In this tumultuous economy, recognizing that couples with stable relationships accumulate greater levels of wealth over time and have the potential to better ride out the ebbs and flows of market changes, more and more service providers are keen to work with couples, especially parents, to enhance financial stability for families and children rather than let unexpected events undermine it.
1 Jenkins, N., Stanley, S.M., Bailey, W.C., & Markman, H.J. (2002). You Paid How Much for That?: How to Win at Money Without Losing at Love. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
2 Dew, J. (2008). Debt change and marital satisfaction in recently married couples. Family Relations 57(1), 60-71.
3 Jenkins, N., Stanley, S.M., Bailey, W.C., & Markman, H.J. (2002). You Paid How Much for That?: How to Win at Money Without Losing at Love. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
4 Caskey, J.P. (1997). Beyond cash-and-carry: Financial savings, financial services, and low income households in two communities (Report written for the Consumer Federation of American and the Ford Foundation). Swarthmore, PA: Swarthmore College.
5 Seidman, E., & Tescher, J. (2005). Unbanked to homeowner: Improving financial services for low-income, low-asset customers. The Brookings Institution Press, 316-347.
10 Jenkins, N., Stanley, S.M., Bailey, W.C., & Markman, H.J. (2002). You Paid How Much for That?: How to Win at Money Without Losing at Love. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
11 Orman, S. (2007). The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. New York: Riverhead Books.
12 Conley, D., & Ryvicker, M. (2005). The price of female headship: Gender, inheritance, and wealth accumulation in the United States. Journal of Income Distribution, 41-56. Also see, Lerman, R. (2002). Impacts of marital status and parental presence on the material hardship of families and children. Demography, 44 (3).
13 Warren, E., & Tyagi Warren, A. (2003). The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers are Going Broke. New York: Basic Books.
14 Warren, E., & Tyagi Warren, A. (2003). The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers are Going Broke. New York: Basic Books.
15 Rukavina, M., & Zeldin, C. (2007). Borrowing to stay healthy: How credit card is related to medical expenses. Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action.
16 Seidman, E., & Tescher, J. (2005). Unbanked to homeowner: Improving financial services for low-income, low-asset customers. The Brookings Institution Press, 316-347.
17 Orman, S. (2007). The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. New York: Riverhead Books.
18 Sorenson, E. & Zibman, C. (2000) “Child Support Offers Some Protection Against Poverty” The Urban Institute, Number B-10 in Series, "New Federalism: National Survey of America's Families.”