Perceptions of the Value of Financial Education in African American Creditworthiness

Melvin Thomas Miller, Walden University

Abstract

Research suggests a disparity for African Americans within the banking system, as they are denied credit at a higher rate than other ethnic groups. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of African Americans financial training in regards to qualifying for consumer loans. The conceptual framework was based on seminal theories on credit risk assessment and critical race theory. The research questions were designed to address banking officials' perceptions of financial training and the effectiveness of training in improving African Americans' credit. A phenomenological design was employed with the purposeful sample of 9 banking officials within the African American community from 4 states within the Southeast United States. Data analysis consisted of interpretive phenomenological analysis of lending documentation and interviews. The thematic analysis of face-to-face interviews were collected, coded, validated, and triangulated. An emergent theme concluded that banking officials acknowledged the important role financial competency plays in consumers' ability to access financial resources. The findings indicated that exposure to comprehensive financial training may increase African Americans creditworthiness. The results of the study could impact perceptions of the value of financial education and its usefulness in enhancing African American creditworthiness. The study may create positive social change by improving African Americans ability to obtain consumer loans and promote African Americans' financial welfare.