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Consumer Economics Programs Reducing Debt in Tennessee

Because they spend too much and save too little, many Tennesseans will not have enough money to live securely throughout life. University of Tennessee Extension programs have focused on skills to increase savings to build assets, reduce dependence on credit, and discharge debt. Counties across Tennessee reported 95,656 total direct educational contacts. Follow-up data indicates that among extension clientele participating in consumer education programs, more are attempting to save and reduce debt. The annual estimated economic impact of clientele savings totaled more than $19 million with debt reduction estimates approximately $6,418 million. The total estimated impact of the University of Tennessee Extension's Tennessee Saves program for adults and youths, as well as youth financial simulations, on Tennesseans’ saving increases and debt reductions was $26 million.

NIFA supports this outreach through the Smith-Lever Act Capacity Funds.

Contact Dena Wise or Ann Berry, extension specialists, at, for more information.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

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