Free Online Financial IQ Test for Consumers
BillsIQ goes beyond credit scores to help Americans assess financial IQ and stability
SAN MATEO, Calif., June 11, 2008 – To help millions of Americans acquire the knowledge they need to take charge of their financial well-being, Bills.com is launching a new financial IQ test that measures financial awareness and offers consumers real solutions to help tackle money problems.
BillsIQ tests consumers' financial positions in five different areas: credit, debt, budgeting, wealth and life plan. The free financial health checkup is available at http://www.bills.com/iq. The test is one of the first of its kind to not simply measure credit, as a proxy for financial stability, but to measure the full picture of a consumer’s financial health.
The BillsIQ test asks about five insightful, multiple-choice questions in each area. The questions incorporate overall life and financial goals, an individual’s financial life cycle, and spending, budgeting and saving habits. Upon completing the test, consumers receive a grade and a percentage score – their BillsIQ. In the results section, consumers can see their answers and receive specific tips tailored for their financial issues. Consumers also will be able to measure how their scores compare to other test-takers by demographic and geographic segments.
"Despite living in the biggest information age in history, Americans in many ways are less financially aware than ever," Brad Stroh, co-founder and co-CEO of Bills.com, said. "The recent mortgage meltdown is a prime example of how Americans overspend, over-leverage, under-save and under-plan for their financial well-being. But individuals are starting to take responsibility for their financial future. We're moving beyond just the credit score to deeper knowledge. BillsIQ can help people learn exactly where to apply their energy to earn a higher financial 'grade' and increase their stability."
Americans' collective financial IQ is low, indeed, Stroh said. The median amount of credit card debt individuals carry is $6,600 -- or 14 percent of the U.S. median household income of $48,200 in 2006. Total U.S. consumer debt stands at $2,558 trillion dollars. In March (the most recent data available), the personal saving rate in the United States was 0.2 percent of income -- a figure that easily could be negative if saving was financed by borrowing. And only a minority of Americans keep track of how much they spend and where they spend it.
"Being financially smart is about more than credit scores, and about more than just money, although preparing for retirement or for a rainy day is critically important," Stroh added. "It's also about having peace of mind and having the resources to make your life everything you want it to be, and BillsIQ takes goals and meaning into consideration. True intelligence is about living life -- and the right financial practices can help."
Bills.com also created the Bills.com Personal Finance Budget Guide, with simple, how-to information to assist consumers in taking charge of their personal finances. The free guide, available at http://www.bills.com/guide/, provides detailed information on how to create a personal budget or spending plan to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and improve credit profiles.
Based in San Mateo, Calif., Bills.com (www.bills.com) is a free one-stop portal where consumers can educate themselves about complex personal finance issues and comparison shop for products and services including credit cards, debt relief assistance, insurance, mortgages and other loans. As the online portal to Freedom Financial Network, LLC, the company has served more than 40,000 customers nationwide since 2002 while managing more than $1 billion in consumer debt. Its RSS feed is available at http://www.bills.com/news_releases/.
In 2008, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Bills.com as the No. 3 fastest-growing U.S. company on its Hot 100 list. Bills.com also was named a finalist as “most innovative company” in the American Business Awards in 2008. Company co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Housser and Brad Stroh were named to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list in 2008, and are Northern California finalists in Ernst & Young’s 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
 CardTrak.com, June 2007.
 U.S. Census, August 2007 (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/010583.html)
 Federal Reserve, May 2008.
 Bureau of Economic Analysis, May 2008 (http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm)
 Princeton Survey Research Associates, April 2007 (http://www.nfcc.org/NFCC_SummaryReport_ToplineFinal.pdf)