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Financial Literacy Statistics

As essential as it is in everyday life, you would think more focus would be paid to financial literacy education in America. After all, without a grasp of basic financial concepts, it can be almost impossible to achieve financial stability and avoid problems like debt.

Unfortunately, financial literacy is not a focal point in most school curriculums, placing the educational need directly onto families. As a result, parents who were never taught the right lessons often struggle to provide adequate lessons to their children. It’s a cycle that has many slipping through the proverbial financial cracks and encountering the same financial challenges their parents faced later in life.

With that in mind, Consolidated Credit – in conjunction with government agencies and other nonprofit organizations – strives to provide free financial literacy resources. At the same time, we’ve also searched the web to find relevant U.S. financial literacy statistics, to see just how much of an issue financial education remains for most Americans.

Spotting financial literacy trends

Education statistics

According to a study conducted by The Nation’s Report Card, which grades states from A to F in terms of their financial literacy, only 17 out of 50 received a passing score of a B rating or higher.   Though there has been a greater emphasis on increasing financial knowledge, it may be of concern that our nation’s capital Washington D.C., received an F for its second straight year, joining Alaska, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota.

A big problem with financial education is that most schools don’t teach it. A recent survey found:

  • 63% of American adults think personal finance education should be taught in schools
  • 41% say they had to teach themselves about personal finance
  • (33%) feel that their financial knowledge holds them back financially
  • 77% want politicians to push for financial education in schools
  • Americans would be willing to give up: Happy hour (35%), dating apps (29%), morning coffee (24%), vacation days (12%) and even their sex lives (8%) for better financial education and to get out of debt.

Another organization called the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has a National Financial Literacy Test that they’ve offered on their website since 2012. Since January 1, 2012, 70,000 participants have taken the test. The average score in 2022 was 67.5% a drop of .43% since last year.

  • Average score for 25 – 35 year olds: 76.04%
  • Average grade for 36 – 50 year olds: 77.26%
  • Even participants over age 51 only scored 78.03%

Every age range has done worse compared to last year, significantly underlying the need for more financial literacy in the country.

Financial literacy impacts your everyday financial life

The encouraging news is that consumers themselves seem to be taking steps to get educated. Last year’s (2022) Country Financial Security Index – an annual survey that polls over 1,000 American adults to assess how they feel about the stability of their finances – showed some promising results:

  • 64% rate their financial security as Good/Excellent
  • 83% say they’ll be able to get out of debt
  • 70% believe they are confident about enjoying a comfortable retirement

The cost of financial illiteracy

A survey from the NFEC shows the realities of not being financially literate.

From October 23rd to December 5th, 2022, 3,001 U.S. adults were asked, “During the past year, about how much money do you think you lost because you lacked knowledge about personal finances?”

  • $0 – $499: 61.8%
  • $500 – $999: 7.23%
  • $1,000 – $2,499: 7.96%
  • $2,500 – $9,999: 7.98%
  • $10,000 +: 15.04%

The average estimated loss was $1,819, significantly higher than the $1,389 in 2021. Extrapolating the results to encompass the entire country and you find that financial illiteracy cost U.S. consumers more than $436 billion in 2022 alone.

Education or assistance – we’re here to help

Whether you have financial questions that need expert answers or you need one-on-one credit counseling to help you overcome financial challenges that you don’t know how to overcome on your own, we’re here for you. Call Consolidated Credit today at (844) 276-1544 to speak with a certified credit counselor or tell us about your situation by completing our online application for a free consultation.


  1.  The Nation’s Report Card
  2. National Financial Literacy Test 
  3. CFSI Q4 2022 Summary 10_17_2022.pdf (
  4. 63% of Americans Say Schools Need Financial Education | Credit Karma