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Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals

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Elevate and Clinton Global Initiative release insights about
financial literacy content

America's financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who
need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate's
Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and
retain financial education material differently than their prime peers,
the research indicated.

"Most financial literacy programs are designed for people with prime
credit," said Jonathan Walker, executive director of Elevate's CNMC.
"But non-prime consumers learn differently because they face unique
challenges such as income volatility, a lack of confidence, and planning
challenges." Elevate engaged with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to
study the efficacy of different financial literacy tools.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy
curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different
messages. Respondents were tested for information retention immediately
following exposure to their curriculum, as well as a few weeks later.
Findings showed that videos are effective for information retention and
articles are effective for information breadth.

However, personalized tools designed to help users improve their
finances were even more effective when it came to engagement,
empowerment, and behavioral change.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial
wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it
directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income
volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify
outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps. Broad advice that focuses on
overall principles or is focused too far into the future is ineffective.
It often also fails to acknowledge what is even possible for the
participant and can lead to discouragement and disengagement. The best
financial literacy content will break those broad principles into small,
attainable steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand
that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and
they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a
financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead
non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management
principles.

The multi-stage survey of 476 respondents was completed in partnership
with the CGI, RLJ Companies, Republic Bank, CreditDNA (ScoreNavigator),
TransUnion, FELA (LifeCents), and research partner Maru/Matchbox.

"As a company, we're committed to increasing financial inclusion for all
non-prime consumers," said Ken Rees, CEO of Elevate. "If others can,
like us, leverage these insights to better understand and support
America's New Middle Class, we all benefit."

About the Research

The Center's research compared the responses and performance of 479
Americans enrolled in various financial literacy curricula from Q4 2016
to Q1 2017. For more details on the study, click here.

About Elevate's Center for the New Middle Class

Elevate's Center for the New Middle Class conducts research, engages in
dialogue, and builds cooperation to generate understanding of the
behaviors, attitudes, and challenges of America's growing "New Middle
Class," defined as those with credit scores below 700. For more
information, visit: http://www.newmiddleclass.org.

About Elevate

Elevate (NYSE:ELVT) has originated $4.9 billion in non-prime credit to
more than 1.8 million non-prime consumers to date and has saved its
customers more than $2 billion versus the cost of payday loans. Its
responsible, tech-enabled online credit solutions provide immediate
relief to customers today and help them build a brighter financial
future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers' good financial
behavior with features like interest rates that can go down over time,
free financial training and free credit monitoring. Elevate's suite of
ground-breaking credit products includes RISE,
Elastic
and Sunny.
For more information, please visit http://www.elevate.com.

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