Latest Research & Data 

Below is a list of the most recent research- and data-based resources that have been added to the NFEC website.


Have a “hot off the press” research or data resource to suggest that NFEC add to this list? Then submit it to NFEC through the “Help Us Grow Our Site” form on this website.

JAN 2020
Average Student Loan Debt Statistics (Resource) 
This data, compiled by LendEDU, takes a look at key student loan debt statistics and serves as a directory of other pages where you can find more information. The data include links to the source material and are continuously updated as new numbers become available.  
FEB 2019
Native Credit Unions: A Middle Path for Building Financial Access and Capability (Report) 
Native Americans have much less access to affordable, good-quality financial services than the rest of the country. Native credit unions fill important credit and capital needs of the underbanked consumers throughout Indian Country. They also provide a unique business profile different from two other mainstream Native financial institutions, Native-owned banks and Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI) loan funds. Native credit unions’ social mission, cooperative ownership structure, and focus on financial education align closely with the needs of most Native communities. Increased visibility, sponsor support, and industry resources signal the potential for the growth and expansion of Native credit unions to create even greater opportunities for financial access and capability in Native communities. 
JAN 2019
Vulnerability in the Face of Economic Uncertainty: Key Findings from the 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard (Report) 
The Prosperity Now Scorecard is a comprehensive resource for data on household financial health, racial economic inequality and policy recommendations to help put everyone in the United States on a path to prosperity. The Scorecard ranks states on 52 outcome measures across five issue areas on the financial situation of all residents. For the first time, the 2019 Scorecard also ranks the states on racial disparities—the gaps in 26 outcome measures between White residents and residents of color—and factors this into a state’s overall performance. We do this to make explicit the impact race has on economic outcomes and to center race in our conversations about solutions.
Financial Capabilities in Indian Country (Research Report)

If offered an opportunity to save money via a formal financial education program, will young people participate in the programming and open a savings account? That was the key research question motivating this pilot study, which was implemented among youth aged 11 to 15 years who self-identified as American Indian.

Student Snapshot: A Current Picture of Student Loan Borrowing and Repayment in the United States (Website)

The value of a college degree has never been higher – at least in financial terms. Over the past decade, the cost of a university education has risen three times faster than other school-related expenses. Most students finance at least some of that cost by taking out student loans, with the goal of having their investment pay off with higher earnings down the road. But, in the meantime, repaying those student loans can be a significant hurdle, not only for grads but the economy as a whole. Here is a comprehensive statistical snapshot at the current state of student debt in the U.S. in 2018 – the challenges, trends, and a few encouraging indicators for the future.


SEP 2018

Evidence of Lower Credit Card Limits in American Indian Neighborhoods, and Hope for Building Credit Capacity (Study)

Consumers’ bank credit card limits tend to be unaccountably low in tribal area neighborhoods with a high percentage of American Indian residents, this new study finds. It also provides support for initiatives that help consumers improve their credit history records.


JUL 2018

Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership (Handbook) 

As Native populations grow rapidly, tribal leaders are challenged as never before to provide their members decent housing. Expanding homeownership is a huge part of the solution for reservations and Indian areas, but until recently lenders just didn't extend home loans in Indian Country. This handbook is the essential guide to understanding a process that has so much potential but is still in its infancy. The handbook is your guide to the new mortgage programs (government and private), the new kinds of lenders (loan funds, Native CDFIs), and the new energies that are transforming Indian housing.

JUN 2018 

2018 Native CDFI Capital Access Convening (Presentation Materials) 

This webpage features all of the presentation materials from the First Nations Oweesta Corporation's 2018 Native CDFI Capital Access Convening, which took place in California in June 2018.

NOV 2017
A Missing Element of Financial Capability – Your Money Mindset (White Paper)

Leaders of workforce development programs have been taking the initiative to integrate financial literacy and capability services into their own curriculum and services. However, this requires resources, knowledge, and capacity that workforce development programs may not have. With support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Prosperity Agenda partnered with two workforce development programs with the goal of answering, “How might we improve the financial wellness of graduates in career development programs?”

NOV 2017
Findings from the 2017 Native CDFI Survey: Industry Opportunities and Limitations (Working Paper)

The Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis intends to provide energy and coordination to Indian Country development initiatives across the Federal Reserve System. One area of focus is advocating and developing resources for Native community development financial institutions (NCDFIs) working toward strengthening reservation economies. This spring, on behalf of the Center, the Minneapolis Fed’s Community Development Department conducted a survey of NCDFIs to collect data that can be used to inform financial institutions about NCDFI-related investment opportunities. Findings, shared in this report, suggest there are unmet lending opportunities in the industry. These opportunities illustrate both the limits and potential of NCDFIs.

AUG 2017 

Revisiting Native American Entrepreneurship in South Dakota's Nine Reservation (Report) 

This report revisits the original report released by the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance in 2011: Native American Entrepreneurship in South Dakota’s Nine Reservations. It provides updated data and information about how Native CDFIs are serving Native entrepreneurs in South Dakota.

APR 2017
Race and Financial Capability in America: Understanding the Native American Experience (Study)

With survey data from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s 2015 National Financial Capability Study, this issue brief examines financial capability by race, with a focus on Native Americans. The data suggest that Native Americans have higher levels of financial fragility and distress than many other groups. Native Americans also lag whites and Asian-Americans on many measures of financial capability, demonstrating lower levels of financial knowledge and lower use of formal financial products, but are on par with African-Americans and Hispanics. This research suggests that Native Americans are less likely to learn about managing finances from parents and that they demonstrate lower levels of confidence in managing their money. However, there are different experiences within the Native American community. Higher-income Native Americans display much higher levels of financial capability than lower-income Native Americans, as do men and older Native Americans, but to a lesser degree. The findings in this brief suggest there is still much work to be done to provide opportunities for Native Americans to develop their financial knowledge and skills.


Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities: A Data Review (Study) 

Recent observations raise critical questions: Where does Native America stand now in terms of capital and credit access? What has been the effect of new action and new approaches by policymakers and financial entrepreneurs? What are Native Communities’ ongoing and future capital and needs? This document begins to answer these questions. As the second part of a two-part follow-up to the landmark Native American Lending Study in 2001, it uses a range of datasets to document the evolution of Native Communities’ capital access since 2001.