Consumer Finances of Low-Income Families

Date
2016-01-01
Authors
Nielsen, Robert
Fletcher, Cynthia
Bartholomae, Suzanne
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Abstract

The Great Recession, and the slow recovery afterward, affected families from all socioeconomic strata. However, low-income families were hardest hit on many consumer finance indicators. To highlight the challenges facing low-income families we examine recent patterns of consumer finance holdings relative to higher-income families. We then review recent research on several dimensions of the financial environment of low-income families, including banking; asset holdings including home ownership; use of credit and alternative financial services; and access to health insurance. A discussion of future directions for research on the consumer finances of low-income families completes the chapter.

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This accepted book chapter is published as Nielsen, R. B., Fletcher, C. N., and S. Bartholomae. “Consumer Finances of Low-Income Families.” In J. Xiao (ed.) Handbook of Consumer Finance Research. New York NY: Springer. 2016 (2nd edition); 167-178. Posted with permission.

Keywords
low-income, poverty, unbanked, alternative financial sector, home ownership
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