02/21/2014 - AFSA Education Foundation



Based in Washington, D.C., AFSAEF’s (www.afsaef.org) mission is to help consumers realize the benefits of responsible money management, understand the credit process and seek help if credit problems occur. It is affiliated with the American Financial Services Association (www.afsaonline.org), the national trade association for the consumer credit industry, protecting access to credit and consumer choice. The foundation’s primary initiative is MoneySKILL® (www.moneyskill.org), a free online personal finance course.


One of AFSAEF’s primary initiatives is the free personal finance course MoneySKILL, which covers income, expenses, saving and investing, credit and insurance. The goal of MoneySKILL is to educate students on money management fundamentals and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to make sound financial decisions and to avoid the pitfalls of over-indebtedness, repossession, home foreclosure and bankruptcy.

The objectives implemented to help attain this goal are:

  • Offer MoneySKILL free to educators and students
  • Conduct teacher training nationwide to provide hands-on use of MoneySKILL 
  • Support educators 24/7 with online and toll-free telephone access
  • Update the technology and course content annually

Program Description: The high school/college/young adult version of MoneySKILL consists of 36 modules, while the middle school/junior high version consists of 12 modules. MoneySKILL is designed to be used as all or part of a course in personal finance, economics, business, math, or social studies. The online delivery allows teachers to educate themselves on personal finance concepts prior to the students beginning the course. Students can access the modules in the classroom or at home. Built-in quizzes test the students’ grasp of each concept presented.

Many parents, realizing the importance of educating their children about personal finance, utilize MoneySKILL as part of their home schooling or a project for their kids to complete over summer vacation. Parents can learn along with their children and discuss the concepts being taught.

The curriculum and technology are updated each summer. The updates reflect current laws, statistics, and the latest technological advances. A technology upgrade made the course compatible with all hand-held devices.

 Workshops continue to be the most effective way to reach teachers. The training offers an overview of the course and how to use features requested by teachers. Nationwide, more than 12,500 teachers have participated in training.

An annual survey is distributed to teachers who use the course each year. The teachers are asked to evaluate the course and technology, as well as students’ reaction to the course and technology. Consistently, teachers have rated the course and technology very good to excellent. Teachers like MoneySKILL because it is free, comprehensive and adaptable to their individual needs.


The AFSA Education Foundation has made a strong commitment to help promote financial literacy in the community. We are looking to build awareness of our initiatives and expand the reach and distribution of our program materials.


 Understanding Vehicle Financing

An educational brochure for vehicle shoppers has been updated to reflect relevant vehicle finance laws, terms and statistics. The brochure takes consumers through the vehicle financing process and highlights the importance of budgeting, checking one’s credit report, and shopping around.

Originally produced in 2003, the brochure has provided important information to help millions of potential borrowers understand vehicle financing options and evaluate their own financial situations before financing or leasing a new or used vehicle. It was developed by the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), and prepared in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The brochure contains several useful tools, including:

• Worksheet to determine a monthly payment amount that the borrower can afford

• Glossary of common vehicle financing terms

• Worksheet to allow borrowers to compare terms from up to three creditors

• Checklist of recommended actions to take before, during and after visiting the dealership

• Revised list of federal laws regulating financing and leasing




Susie Irvine
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