Briefs & Summaries Financial Behaviors Financial Inclusion

Use of Alternative Financial Services Among Low- and Moderate-Income Households: Findings From a Large-Scale National Household Financial Survey

This brief summarizes research on Alternative Financial Services (AFS) use among low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers participating in the Refund to Savings (R2S) Initiative. We make an important contribution to AFS research by distinguishing the characteristics, circumstances, and experiences of AFS users from those of nonusers. We discuss findings in relation to the importance of having emergency savings. The findings also can inform efforts to promote safe and affordable credit products.

Project: Refund to Savings (R2S)


Despard, M. R., Perantie, D. C., Luo, L., Oliphant, J., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2015, November). Use of alternative financial services among low- and moderate-income households: Findings from a large-scale national Household Financial Survey (CSD Research Brief No. 15-57). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.