Optimizing PREP: A Retrospective and a Vision: Economic Literacy as part of Wisconsin’s Adolescent Health and Wealth Education Program

The objective of the Personal Responsibility and Education Program (“PREP”) is to teach adolescents to adopt healthy behaviors and lifestyles.  Wisconsin is one of the few states that includes financial literacy in its PREP programming. Asset Builders worked with partner agencies in Beloit, Racine, and Milwaukee to build a financial literacy delivery system within PREP, with the objective of teaching at least 950 students each year.  The Report documents that experience and looks ahead to how “health/wealth” education might be expanded.

Utility Payments as Alternative Credit Data: A Reality Check

Access to credit is one of the cornerstones of wealth-building in the United States. Consumer transactions such as those involving cell phone accounts and utility accounts have credit characteristics but are not being reported into the credit data bases.  For people who only rarely participate in the credit economy, and therefore may lack an accurate credit history, inclusion of payment history data not typically reported to credit bureaus could produce a more accurate profile of an individual’s payment behavior, helping to predict that person’s likelihood of repaying debt.  In turn this can help such individuals build wealth through access to credit.