Online Personal Finance & Investing Resources
There are so many personal finance websites that it can be difficult to know where to begin your search for reliable information. The list below has been compiled with guidance from librarians and financial educators who are familiar with the everyday needs and questions of library users. For more staff training tools and library-led financial literacy project ideas, visit smartinvesting.ala.org.
Lastly, for additional ideas, please download this helpful guide: “Collection Management for Personal Finance and Investing Resources.”
General Financial Literacy Topics
Save and Invest
This website provides unbiased tools and information to help consumers with basic financial
management, controlling debt, saving for the future, and protecting assets.
Financial Literacy and Education Commission
Financial information is organized around five skills: earn, borrow, save/invest, spend, and
protect. The site includes resources compiled by more than 20 federal agencies that offer
American Institute of CPAs: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
This resource provides basic information and tools on general personal finance topics. It
addresses issues at each life stage from teens to retirees. Consumers can “Ask the Money
Dr.” and review FAQs.
Cooperative Extension Service: eXtension Personal Finance
Personal finance services from the Cooperative Extension System include “Ask the Expert” questions answered by Extension educators.
National Financial Capability Study
This site provides state-by-state and national data about a variety of personal finance indicators related to saving, credit, medical debt, home equity, financial literacy, and financial behaviors.
National Endowment for Financial Education
The National Foundation for Financial Education provides a variety of personal finance
learning resources suitable for youth and adults.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
This federal agency insures bank deposits and provides consumer information on banking, mortgages, and privacy. Resources include curriculum materials to teach Money Smart, a comprehensive financial education curriculum for low- and moderate-income adults.
The Learning Bank: The FDIC’s Webpage for Students, Teachers and Parents
Provides information about using money wisely, how banks work, and the differences between types of bank accounts and loans.
Annual Credit Report Request
This is the only source for free credit reports authorized by federal law. Instructions include
how to request free reports once per year from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Managed by the Consumer Federation of America, the America Saves campaign helps low- and moderate-income households to establish a savings plan and stick to it. A companion campaign, Military Saves, focuses on service members and veterans.
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an authoritative source for information on identity theft, as well as other money and credit topics.
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS site provides forms, publications, and online services to assist with federal income tax questions.
Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC site features basic information on investing and investor protection. It provides access to the EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval) database, which consumers can use to research public companies.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
FINRA provides comprehensive information and tools to help consumers make well-informed decisions about investing. The site also provides market data, investor alerts, and free publications on demand.
North American Securities Administrators Association
This site includes information about how to contact state securities regulators, as well as general investor education resources.
This is the federal healthcare marketplace. Individuals, families, and small businesses can learn about and purchase healthcare coverage from this site or be directed to a state’s exchange if it has one.
Financial Literacy for Young Learners
Jump$tart is committed to advancing financial literacy among pre-school through college-age youth. This site includes a clearinghouse of curriculum materials available to educators and parents.
This office of the U.S. Department of Education is the largest provider of grants, loans, and work-study funds for post-secondary education. There’s also a section on loan repayment.
Social Security Administration
This site offers information about Social Security benefits, life expectancy, and retirement age calculators. Information for kids and families is available at https://www.ssa.gov/people/kids/.
Help for Consumers
211 Information and Referral Search
The three-digit 2-1-1 telephone number provides free, confidential information and referrals for human services, including food assistance, housing, employment, and healthcare.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Consumers can “Ask CFPB” questions, review an extensive database of FAQs on consumer financial products and services, submit complaints, and access information on current issues related to financial products. CFPB’s “Families and Money” site is at www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/category-families-money/.
U.S. Government Bookstore
A clearinghouse of federal government publications, including an extensive list of items on “Money” topics.