Financial Services

Connecting Tax Time to Financial Security

  • By
  • Rachel Black,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2014
The ability to accumulate and access savings is a fundamental determinant of economic security for many families, especially those with low incomes and limited resources. Since every family’s circumstance is different, so too are their savings needs, which can range both in time horizon and flexibility of purpose. Current federal policy favors longer-term, targeted purposes, such as savings for retirement, leaving a void in policy supports for households whose savings needs are more immediate.

Asset Building News Week, February 17-21

February 21, 2014
Publication Image  The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include postal banking, housing, income inequality, and public assistance.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Postal Banking

February 20, 2014
Publication Image The Weekly Wonk is a digital magazine and podcast from New America focused on the ideas and policy challenges that will shape our future. In this week's edition, Elliot Schreur from the Asset Building Program explains the dynamics and challenges around a recent proposal for the United States Postal Service to offer financial services.

Asset Building News Week, February 10-14

February 14, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include children's savings accounts, education, and financial services.

Asset Building News Week, January 13-17

January 17, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include financial services, employment, and public assistance.

CFPB: Comparing Financial Education and Financial Marketing

November 19, 2013
Publication Image Given the vast range of information that is available to American consumers when making their financial decisions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) conducted a study to develop a better understanding of the size and scope of the financial information field.

Asset Building News Week, October 28-November 1

November 1, 2013
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the implications of SNAP cuts, financial products, poverty, and inequality.

Asset Building News Week, October 21-25

October 25, 2013
Publication Image

The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include public assistance, asset limits, poverty, the achievement gap, and homelessness.

Asset Building News Week, September 16-20

September 20, 2013
Publication Image

The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include inequality, poverty, public assistance, savings, and financial products.

Broadband Access as an Asset Building Tool

September 19, 2013

In a newly released video co-produced by New America’s Education Policy Program, Open Technology Institute, and Asset Building Program, my colleagues and I argue that affordable and universal broadband access is an important tool for promoting equal access to economic, educational and occupational opportunities for all. Learn more about this body of work here.

When accompanied by appropriate digital inclusion policies and adequate consumer protections, broadband access can serve as a tool to help families and individuals build their wealth, access savings opportunities, and improve their economic prospects.

Access to the internet gives individuals, families, and communities a vehicle with which to engage an array of resources and services: the full spectrum of the education system, the job market and a wide variety of workplaces, financial service providers, and a range of other governmental and non-governmental services and structures that improve daily life. In this way, the internet can function as a tool to promote upward social and economic mobility. In the asset building context, an affordable high-speed home broadband connection can lay the foundation for successful engagement with safe and affordable financial products outside of a bank. Internet access (and competency with internet-based tools) is a de facto prerequisite for un- or underemployed adults to seek out and apply for living wage job opportunities. Children and youth can use the internet to build foundational skills that lead to better educational outcomes in the short and long-term.  

However, we have a long way to go to reach this vision for universal connectivity – and a number of caveats to address along the way.

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