Annotated Bibliography

Financial Aid: Receiving and Repaying

Chany, K. A., & Martz, G. (2023). Paying for college, 2024: Everything you need to maximize financial aid and afford college. Princeton Review.
This annual guidebook features line-by-line instructions for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) aid forms. It also outlines how to maximize financial aid eligibility, how to explore long- and short-term strategies to reduce college costs and avoid expensive mistakes, and how to compare aid offers and appeal them, if necessary.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.). Find advice for your student loans.
This webpage published by the CFPB, a U.S. federal agency, “offers guidance using basic information about . . . `student loans.” It covers how to maximize every dollar when paying back loans and how to keep payments low.

Federal Student Aid. (n.d.-a). Apply for aid using the FAFSA form. U.S. Department of Education.
The website of the Office of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education is the entryway to applying for federal financial aid. Links to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form allow students to request federal grants, work-study awards, and loans, all in one application. From the central website, students can fill out a FAFSA form or update an old one. A video tutorial is available to guide students through the process of gathering the documents needed to apply.

Federal Student Aid. (n.d.-b). Don’t get discouraged if you’re in default on your federal student loan. U.S. Department of Education.
On this follow-up webpage on managing loans, the Office of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education reassures students about getting out of default if they failed to make payments on their student loans. It compares options for getting out of default and outlines ways to rehabilitate, consolidate, and repay student loans.

Federal Student Aid. (n.d.-c). Receiving financial aid. U.S. Department of Education.
This webpage of the Office of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education outlines when and how students will receive aid after they tell their school which financial aid they want to accept. It lists the different types of government assistance and highlights how to pay for textbooks and other course materials if they have not yet received their financial aid allocation.

Federal Student Aid. (n.d.-d). Student loan repayment. U.S. Department of Education.
Provided by the Office of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education, this webpage highlights what students can do to pay loans back in full (the entire amount) and on time (before interest charges begin to add to the amount that students have to pay). It covers the different kinds of repayment plans, when students must begin to make loan payments, and what a grace period is. It also gives some insight into the different types of loans and having student loans forgiven.

Federal Student Aid. (2015). Federal student loans: Repaying your loans. U.S. Department of Education.
Provided by the Office of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education, this publication highlights repayment of loans from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. It covers the different kinds of repayment plans, when students must begin to make loan payments, and what a grace period is.

Lieber, R. (2021). The price you pay for college: An entirely new road map for the biggest financial decision your family will ever make. HarperCollins.
This book analyzes the costs of college—in financial terms, but also in terms of psychological equanimity and professional success. In light of the recent astronomical rise in tuition and the accompanying decline in the value of college education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides detailed information on how to identify schools and programs that provide value and avoid those that don’t, and how to plan and save for college.

New York State, Department of Financial Services. (n.d.). Student loan and debt relief resources.
In addition to extensive information about financing higher education and repaying student loans, this webpage features a list of upcoming free workshops on these topics. It also provides, in multiple languages, a Student Borrower Bill of Rights that students should be aware of.

Stack, C., & Vedvik, R. (2017). The financial aid handbook: Getting the education you want for the price you can afford (Rev. ed.). Career Press.
This one-stop guide to the college selection and payment process covers everything from basic timelines and tuition costs to predicting scholarship awards from colleges using the Merit Aid Profile and taking ownership of student debt after graduation. It guides students on how to negotiate with the Financial Aid Office and features chapters for undocumented and homeless students.

USAGov. (n.d.). Get started repaying your federal student loan.
This webpage of the “U.S. government’s official website” provides links to information on repaying student loans, avoiding student loan debt relief scams, student loan forgiveness, and resolving student loan problems.

Good Financial Habits: Expense Tracking and Budgets

Aliche, T. (2021). Get good with money: Ten simple steps to becoming financially whole. Rodale Books.
A comprehensive guide to achieving financial freedom, covering budgeting, saving, credit, debt, investing, retirement, estate planning, and other topics, as well as the emotional side of money.

Baldwin, A., et al. (n.d.). Personal financial planning. In College Success (Chap. 10, Understanding Financial Literacy, Subsection 10.1).  LibreTexts: Social Sciences.
Chapter 10, “Understanding Financial Literacy,” of this open-access textbook has a subsection 10.1 on “Personal Financial Planning.” It deals with goal-setting and how to create and implement a spending plan, using the example of buying a car.

Cagan, M., & Lariviere, E. (2017). The infographic guide to personal finance: A visual reference for everything you need to know. Adams Media.
A collection of 50 colorful infographics designed to clarify budgeting and saving, spending, debt and credit, investing, and housing, for young adults earning their first paychecks and making their first personal finance decisions.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.-a). Bank accounts and services.
Webpage on “choosing and using your bank or credit union account.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.-b). Financial habits and norms.
This webpage provides instructional strategies and learning activities to teach “the values, standards, routine practices, and rules to live by that people rely on to navigate their day-to-day financial lives.” The curriculum ideas target students in early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence and young adulthood.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.-c]. Managing your finances.
This webpage provides resources and suggestions for protecting and managing finances in the face of difficulties arising as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2022a). Financial terms glossary.
Terminology for teaching youth financial literacy.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2022b). Find financial literacy activities.
A list of 47 activities about budgeting, collected from 275 activities for teaching financial literacy from elementary through high school.  Each entry describes the student activity, teaching objectives and strategies, grade level, and activity duration.

The following items are examples of the financial literacy activities compiled by the CFRB (2022b) for teaching about budgeting.

Kobliner, B. (2017). Get a financial life: Personal finance in your twenties and thirties (4th ed.). Touchstone.
This guide to personal finance covers goal-setting, dealing with debt, banking, investing, saving for retirement (start young), buying a house, insurance, taxes, and military benefits.

Mecham J. (2017). You need a budget: The proven system for breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, getting out of debt, and living the life you want. Harper Business.
The founder of the YNAB (You Need a Budget) personal finance platform presents his practical system of financial decision-making designed to engender a family’s freedom from money stress.

Saylor Academy. (2012). Basic ideas of finance. In Personal finance (Chap. 2).
Chapter 2 of this college textbook provides an in-depth explanation of the concepts of basic personal finance with easy-to-understand terminology. The unit looks at 1) income and expenses: where income comes from and goes; and opportunity costs and sunk costs; 2) assets: types of assets and their uses (to store wealth, create income, and reduce expenses); 3) debt and equity: their uses, costs, and value; and 4) income and risk: diversification defined; and how to diversify in both the labor and capital markets. Graphs provide readily understandable visuals of the concepts. Each section ends with “Key Takeaways” that provide effective summaries and “Exercises” that reinforce the concepts. Unfortunately, the video link to “Paying Off Student Loans” does not work, but the “How Stuff” website that it leads to features several webpages on student financial aid.

Schmidt, S. F. (2021. Life of Fred: Financial Choices. Polka Dot Publishing.
A lighthearted but in-depth and opinionated survey of the basics of personal finance.

Sokunbi, B. (2019). Clever Girl Finance. Wiley.
Written “to empower women to take charge of their personal finances” (p. xxi), this book covers the practicalities of goal-setting, budgeting and saving, borrowing money and paying off loans, investing, and credit. Each chapter features an illustrative interview with a woman who has, against the odds, successfully implemented the advice presented.

Visa. (2023a). Financial Calculators: Budget & Goals. Practical money skills.
Online calculators for use during budget planning and goal setting for multiple financial activities (e.g., education, emergencies, transportation, housing, retirement, etc.)

Visa. (2023b). Lessons: College. Practical money skills.
One-stop resource for a range of materials, providing everyday wording to teach financial literacy skills to college freshmen in 10 lessons. Examples for Lesson 1, The art of budgeting:
Teacher’s Guide: Provides detailed lesson plan on identifying and prioritizing personal and financial goals; identifying spending behaviors and patterns; and creating and maintaining a budget based on those goals and patterns and resources available.
Student Activities: Workbook for identifying and prioritizing educational, social, financial, family, health/physical, and recreational goals; identifying income and expenses; and establishing and testing a budget. Workbook ends with a quiz.
PowerPoints and Presentation Slides: two formats of lesson visuals.

Visa. (2023c). Lessons: Grades 9 – 12. Practical money skills.
One-stop resource for a range of materials, providing everyday wording to teach financial literacy skills to high school students in 22 lessons and a glossary of terms. Examples for Lesson 9, A Plan for the Future: Making a Budget:
Teacher’s Guide: Provides a detailed lesson plan, including learning objectives and standards, instruction steps, and answer keys to assigned student activities.
Student Activities: Two worksheets, one to analyze and judge three budget scenarios and the second to develop a sample budget.

Investing Money

Bogle, J. C. (2017). The little book of common sense investing: The only way to guarantee your fair share of stock market returns (10th anniversary ed., updated and rev.). Wiley.
The creator of the first-ever index mutual fund in 1974, Bogle argues that most investors are best served by compiling a diversified portfolio and holding it long term. He cites support from well-known investors: Warren Buffet, Benjamin Graham, Burton Malkiel, Paul Samuelson, and others. Originally published in 2007, this updated edition of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing adds chapters on asset allocation and retirement investing.

Cowles, C. (2020, May 2). My retirement plan is you. The New York Times.
This article describes the growing “reverse-boomerang effect” of parents moving in with their millennial children. The injustices described in the article—parents who worked hard only to have no retirement savings—are somewhat mitigated by the dedication of children who find validation and honor in caring for their elders.

Dogen, S. (2023). Financial samurai: Slicing through money’s mysteries.
Extensive website run by Sam Dogen, aka The Financial Samurai, who previously worked in corporate America. His site foregrounds new and popular content; it features menu items on Invest[ing] in Real Estate and Top Financial Products. While high quality, the site is also a vehicle for Dogen’s prominently-featured 2022 book, Buy This, Not That: How to Spend Your Way to Wealth and Freedom, and should be seen as representing Dogen’s personal views on investing.

FINRA [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority]. (2023). BrokerCheck.
This helpful site provided by FINRA (the funders of this textbook) is a “free tool to research the background and experience of financial brokers, advisers and firms.” The site is simple to use; investors can narrow their search to specific individuals or companies. The site also links to information about brokers barred by FINRA and actions brought by state securities regulators.

La Gorce, T. (2022, December 2). Younger Latinas are making gains toward retirement savings. The New York Times.
How Hispanic women, the longest-living but lowest-earning demographic in America, are improving their financial literacy and retirement prospects.

Lieber, R., & St. John, T. (2017, June 15). How to win at retirement savings. The New York Times.
This comprehensive article explains the various types of retirement investments available to anyone. Simple advice: Start to save while young, regardless of the amount, as compound interest rewards those who begin saving early. And invest wisely: Most people do not actively manage their retirement investments, so that choosing financial products that accrue gradually over time is a wise approach.

Lowe, J. (996). Value investing made easy: Benjamin Graham’s classic investment strategy explained for everyone. McGraw-Hill.
Presents in simple terms the principles of value investing originally developed in 1934 by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd in their Security Analysis. Includes illustrative stories, a glossary of terms, and a recommended reading list.

Malkiel, B. G. (2023). A random walk down Wall Street: The best investment guide that money can buy (13th ed.; 50th anniversary ed.).  W.W. Norton.
Author Malkiel continues to defend his 1973 thesis that “investors would be far better off buying and holding a broad-based index fund than attempting to buy and sell individual securities or actively managed mutual funds” (Introduction). Over 50 years, each updated edition of this book has discussed new financial instruments and financial innovations and found that they confirm Malkiel’s original thesis.

Migaki, L., & Tagle, A. (2022, January 22). Understanding the promises and limits of ethical investing. NPR.
Defines and explains how to use environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments to promote ethical values.

O’Shea, A., & Benson, A. (2023, March 15). What is socially responsible investing (SRI) and how to get started. NerdWallet.
This article defines socially responsible investing and explains how to build a socially responsible investment portfolio, based on personal values and careful research.

Saylor Academy. (2012). Investing. In Personal finance (Chap. 12).
Chapter 12 of this college textbook provides basic information about investment instruments (bonds, stocks, commodities, mutual funds, and others); discusses investment planning (goals, risk tolerance, constraints); explains how to measure return and risk; and shows how diversification reduces risk. Each section ends with “Key Takeaways” that provide effective summaries and “Exercises” that reinforce the concepts.

Stewart, E. (2021, October 10). The thorny truth about socially responsible investing. Vox.
This article argues that “plenty of people think they’re investing in ways that match their values when in reality, they aren’t” and that ensuring socially responsible investing is possible but is harder than it looks.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (n.d.).
Provided by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, this website assembles excellent information on investment basics and advanced topics. Many of the resources guide readers through pre-investment issues, including how to determine if a seller is licensed and whether one’s understanding of the investment is clear. Additional topics include how to invest as an individual and how to work with an investment professional. The site contains quizzes, news bulletins, alerts, and investment calculators.

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. (2021, November 15). Investing blogs & resources for beginners. Wharton Online.
This annotated list of investment resources is organized into three categories: investing blogs, investment publications, and government resources for investors. Each category includes high-quality sources with annotations that help readers explore the sites based on their personal interests and needs. In particular, the blogs section features varied materials, among them sites created by BlackRock, the enormous investment firm, and independent sites such as Financial Samurai.

Yochim, D. (2023, May 26). How to research stocks. NerdWallet.
This article provides a four-step process for evaluating any stock: collecting the company’s financials, researching the numbers and reviewing important characteristics about the company (quantitative and qualitative stock research), and then comparing the current findings to company history and to other companies in the same industry.

Establishing and Building Credit

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.). Debt collection.
This portal webpage leads to many valuable resources about debt collection on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) website. The resources cover what debt collection is; what debt collectors can—and cannot—do legally; what to do when the consumer does not recognize the debt; how to negotiate payment when the debt is legitimate; and examples of letters to use when contacting debt collectors.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2018). Getting and keeping a good credit history. In Your money, your goals: A financial empowerment toolkit (pp. 180-182).
This short, clear guide gives actionable steps and tips to build good credit habits. It encourages people to try one strategy at a time to keep from feeling overwhelmed. For those who may not yet have a credit history, it includes tips on using credit-building products. Some readers may need to use this guide in conjunction with other sources that explain what credit is, what a credit score is, etc. Although published in 2018, the information is not outdated; however, it was written before the rise of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services, which are under consideration for inclusion in credit reporting.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2021, June). Helping consumers spot credit discrimination.
Guide offering useful information on what lenders can and cannot do under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).  Consumers can learn about their rights under this act that prohibits lenders from discriminating against people based on “protected” characteristics, among them race, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), age, and receiving public assistance. To help people recognize and handle problems, this guide lists warning signs of discrimination, how to resolve disputes, and resources to find legal help when necessary.

Federal Trade Commission. (2021, May). Free credit reports.
This webpage covers everything one needs to know about credit reports: what they are, how to get free annual reports, how to get reports in an accessible format (Braille, large print, or audio), why monitor them, nonauthorized credit report providers, and a video overview. This page is also available in Spanish.

Irby, L. (2022, April 14). Everything you need to know about building credit. The Balance.
This up-to-date article from The Balance, a personal finance website, lists ways for those without a credit history to start building one, covering best practices as well as mistakes to avoid. There are helpful links in the text and footnotes to web resources that go into greater detail on topics mentioned. Most terms are defined within the article, but some readers might need vocabulary such as “collateral” explained. There is some overlap with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Getting and Keeping a Good Credit History,” but this article includes more about getting access to credit to begin with.

Lambarena, M. (2023, July 25). 5 ways credit cards can beat buy now, pay later plans. NerdWallet.
This article outlines the differences between regular credit cards and “buy now, pay later” plans, which grew in popularity during the COVID pandemic. The areas of difference covered include reporting to credit bureaus, returning merchandise, managing payments for multiple purchases, and knowing what fees might apply.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling. (n.d.). NFCC.
Website of one of the oldest networks of nonprofit financial counseling agencies. NFCC members are agencies that meet NFCC standards for nonprofit credit counseling. The NFCC helps individuals develop an actionable plan to tackle debt and look to the future with confidence. The organization can help with everything from credit card debt to financial stability for renters to small business credit issues.

Traub, A. (2019, April 3). Establish a public credit registry. Dēmos.
This report from the Dēmos organization focuses on solutions to credit issues in the U.S., especially as they relate to race-based financial inequality. The report proposes a public credit registry, based within the government’s Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), to replace the for-profit credit bureaus which control the credit reporting system at present. The report also discusses related fixes for the credit system, including banning predatory lending, reforming debt collection practices, and prohibiting forced arbitration in lending agreements. It contains an extensive list of bibliographic endnotes.

United Way. (n.d.). Alternative Financial Service Providers.
This webpage lists the benefits and risks of common types of alternative financial services, many of which provide credit. Examples include payday lenders, pawn shops, and rent-to-own. Information is presented in a nonjudgmental way, recognizing the appeal and utility that these services provide while noting the particular risks associated with each.

Weston, L., Jayakumar, A., & Veling, J. (2023, April 25). What is a payday alternative loan? NerdWallet.
Article on PALs, a financial product offered by credit unions as a more affordable small loan than standard payday loans. Interest rates are a fraction of those charged by many payday lenders. While not all credit unions offer these loans, those that do not may have their own, similar type of short-term loan under a different name. Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives formed for the benefit of their members.

Wherry, F. F., Seefeldt, K. S., & Alvarez, A. S. (2019). Credit where it’s due: Rethinking financial citizenship. Russell Sage Foundation.
Short book about the Mission Asset Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that assists mostly low- and moderate-income people of color with building credit. The Mission Asset Fund facilitates zero-interest lending circles, which have been practiced by generations of immigrants but have gone largely unrecognized by mainstream financial institutions. Participants decide how the circles are run and how they will use their loans, and the organization reports their clients’ lending activity to credit bureaus. This system not only helps clients build credit, but also allows them to manage debt with dignity, have some say in the creation of financial products, and reaffirm their sense of social membership. The book delves into the history of the racial wealth gap in the U.S. to show that, for many black and Latino households, credit invisibility is not simply a matter of individual choice or inadequate financial education. Rather, financial marginalization is the result of historical policies that enabled predatory lending, discriminatory banking and housing practices, and the rollback of regulatory protections for first-time homeowners.

Avoiding Financial Scams

California Department of Real Estate. (n.d.). Avoiding predatory lending: Protect yourself in the loan process.
Brief text that defines and gives examples of predatory lending (“flipping, packing, charging excessive fees”) and provides advice on choosing lenders, what information to have on hand before applying for a loan, and who can provide counsel on finding the right loan.

Coffey Consulting. (2018, June). REO: Reentry employment opportunities, Module 3: Predatory lending. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
Provides activities that enable students to identify scams such as payday loans, bait and switch, equity skimming, and loan flipping.

Geisst, C. R. (2017). A populist issue. In Loan sharks: The birth of predatory lending (pp. 1-45). Brookings Institution Press.
Chapter 1 of an extensive historical treatment of the practice of predatory lending from the Civil War era to the 1980s.

High Cost Lending Lobby Campaign. (n.d.). Predatory lending consumer stories. Consumer Federation of America.
Compilation of 22 testimonies by borrowers who were preyed upon by lenders and forced to go into dangerous debt as a consequence. Selected from the Consumer Complaint Database of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Jones, C., Eaglesham, J., & Andriotis, A. (2020, June 3). How payday lenders target consumers hurt by coronavirus. The Wall Street Journal.
Article on the movement of predatory lending online and how lenders advertise loans with triple-digit interest rates to potential customers beset by economic difficulties as a result of the COVID pandemic. The Wall Street Journal investigated payday loans advertised on Google and Facebook in spite of bans on advertisements of such products by both companies.

Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs. (2013, December 1). Avoiding predatory lending and getting a good loan.
Brief guide to the telltale signs of a predatory loan and tips on how to choose the right loan for one’s circumstances.

Lumen Learning. (n.d.). Mortgages. In Personal finance (Chap. 5, Housing, Subsection 5.2). LibreTexts: Business.
Chapter 5, Housing, of this open-access textbook has a subsection 5.2 on Mortgages. It describes the process of mortgage refinancing, and how to avoid predatory loans in that process.

Mehkeri, Z. A. (2014, Fall). Predatory lending: What’s race got to do with it. Public Interest Law Reporter, 20(1), 44-51.
Published in a journal of the Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, this article explores the intersection between race and predatory lending. By taking a historical perspective on subprime loans and mortgages, the author provides insight into the particular dangers faced by members of Black and Hispanic communities when taking out a loan.

 Schwalb, B. L. (2013, March 7). Predatory mortgage lending. Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
The Attorney General for the District of Columbia defines predatory mortgage lending, notes its warning signs, and lists ways to avoid or deal with the problem.

Student Borrower Protection Center. (2021, June 24). Pushing predatory products: How public universities are partnering with unaccountable contractors to drive students toward risky private debt and credit.
This research paper inspects the role that many for-profit and some public universities play in encouraging students to take on “shadow debt”—a term for non-FAFSA loans that are harder for Black and low-income students to pay back than for their white, wealthier fellow students.


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