The need for financial education is great. Some educational efforts exist, but they are not sufficient. The study authors note that “67 percent of Texans fail a nationally assessed basic financial literacy quiz.” The results of this lack of financial literacy are not positive for either workers or their families. As Chris Tomlinson writes in the Houston Chronicle, “About half of all Texans do not have savings accounts, and 60 percent have subprime credit scores.” CNBC quotes BankRate,com saying about 57 million Americans have no savings at all. Tomlinson also notes elsewhere, “About 19.9 percent of American families… still use payday lenders, pawn shops or check-cashing stores for their financial needs…[which] represents a huge drag on the ability of these families to break out of the poverty trap.”
Among the study recommendations, Tomlinson emphasizes the following:
The report itself also recommends that businesses intercede with lending programs of their own to keep their employees from succumbing to debt traps that often result from payday lenders that charge interest rates estimated by the Center for Responsible Lending to average 391 percent on an annualized basis. As of 2014, the fees and interest charged at payday loan and pawn shops nationally was estimated to total $89 billion.