Date of Conferral







Maja Zelihic


As the lending practices of the alternative financial services (AFS) industry harm many consumers and consumers' access and use of traditional credit are restricted, the use of AFS is a growing concern. The financial education of consumers determines their financial behavior, which may be inadequate to make effective financial decisions regarding high-cost borrowings. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine if and to what extent the sources of financial education is related to the use and frequency of use of AFSs among U.S. consumers. The theory of planned behavior and the transtheoretical model of change shaped the theoretical framework for this study. An explanatory correlational design was used to analyze archival data collected by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation for their 2015 National Financial Capability Study. Binary logistic and negative binomial regression analyses indicated that exposure to formal financial education did not contribute to reduced use and lower frequency of use of AFSs but, instead, contributed to the exact opposite. Only parental financial education was found to contribute to reduced use and lower frequency of use of AFSs. One-way ANOVA analyses indicated that all forms of financial education contributed to increased perceived financial knowledge. This study may lead to positive social change by informing policymakers about the necessary steps to remedy the problem of continuous AFS usage and serving as a foundation for future studies that should consider other factors beyond formal financial education that could influence the use and frequency of use of AFSs.

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