10 Free Personal Finance Courses to Master Your Money

 April 27, 2022
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Personal finance courses aren’t typically featured in college curriculums, and they’re certainly not free.

Learning how to manage your money is essential in life, however. By mastering the basics, you can create a working budget, avoid credit card debt, get a hold on your student loans or even build wealth for the future.

Fortunately, free personal finance courses online make it easier than ever to teach yourself the basics of budgeting or the ins and outs of investing. Not only are these courses free, but some only require a few hours of your time and you can take them from the comfort of your own computer.

Ready to get started? Check out these 10 free personal finance courses so you can become a money pro in the new year.

1. Making Sense Of Your Personal Finances; Udemy
2. Personal Finance; edX
3. My Financial Mountain: Understanding Your Path to a Solid Financial Foundation; Skillshare
4. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement; Khan Academy
5. Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts; Alison
6. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest; Alison
7. Housing; Khan Academy
8. Financial Planning for Young Adults; Coursera
9. Decentralised Finance; FutureLearn
10. Understanding Loans; Udemy
PLUS: Free personal finance course FAQs

1. Making Sense Of Your Personal Finances; Udemy

This course will give you a solid foundation in budgeting, saving and managing debt. It will teach you how to set money goals and equip you with the tools to achieve your financial objectives.

What’s more, this course touches on the emotional side of money, so you can better understand your feelings around this complex subject.

Along with the video course, you’ll have access to nine articles and 11 downloadable resources to keep you on track toward your personal finance goals.

Duration: 1 hour, 22 minutes

2. Personal Finance; edX

Taught by Sugato Chakravarty, a visiting professor in Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, this five-week course has four main modules: investments, credit, insurance and retirement. Whether you’re looking to learn how credit works or how to maximize your retirement savings, this course will prepare you to handle your money strategically after you graduate and well into the future.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours per week for 5 weeks

3. My Financial Mountain: Understanding Your Path to a Solid Financial Foundation; Skillshare

Maybe you don’t have that much time to devote to learning about personal finance, or perhaps you just want a refresh of basic concepts. In that case, check out this quick and free personal finance course touching on important concepts, set out in quick-hit videos at up to three minutes each. It’s a great way to start thinking about income, savings and debt. Later, if you want a more detailed look into one or more of these topics, you could switch to a more robust course.

Duration: 24 minutes

4. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement; Khan Academy

Do terms like exchange-traded funds, Roth IRAs and 401(k)s make your head go fuzzy? If you want to learn more about investing, this Khan Academy course could teach you what you need to know.

From investing in mutual funds to saving in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, this course goes over the basics of investing and insurance, as well as prompting you to think about the risks and rewards involved.

Duration: Self-paced

5. Introduction to Managing Your Personal Finance Debts; Alison

This free personal finance course goes over how to manage debt and pay it off fast. It will teach you how to devise an effective debt-elimination plan, as well as strategies for prioritizing which loans or credit card balances to pay off first. Along with helping you deal with credit card debt, this course could also teach you ways to handle your student loans.

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes to 3 hours

6. Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest; Alison

If you’re curious about the difference between simple and compound interest, check out this short one- to two-hour introductory course on Alison. It goes over how interest is calculated — whether on a savings account, a credit card or a loan — so you can understand how your rate could earn or cost you money. It will also go over how to calculate simple and compound interest on your own so that you can, for example, estimate the long-term costs of your student loan.

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes to 3 hours

7. Housing; Khan Academy

Even if homeownership seems years away, you can get an introduction to the homebuying process with this straightforward course from Khan Academy. It will teach you about home equity and mortgages, as well as discussing the pros and cons of renting versus buying. If you’d like to learn more about the financial side of housing, this course could be for you.

Duration: Self-paced

8. Financial Planning for Young Adults; Coursera

If you set aside three to four hours per week, you could finish this financial planning course from Coursera within a month. This comprehensive online course, whose instructors include educators from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, goes over financial goal setting, budgeting, borrowing, credit, saving and investing.

Along with viewing lectures, you’ll also watch examples of financial decision-making in real-world scenarios. After taking this course, you should have the tools to make savvy choices and reach your financial goals.

Duration: 20 hours

9. Decentralised Finance; FutureLearn

If you want to learn about “blockchain, Ethereum, and the future of banking,” this four-week course is right up your alley. Hosted by RMIT University researchers, the course will cover the applications of blockchain in finance broadly, as well as other emerging technologies in the space.

You can sign up for this self-guided course for free, but be aware that you only have four weeks of access before you’d have to sign up for a paid account to access other courses on the FutureLearn platform.

Duration: 3 hours per week for 4 weeks

10. Understanding Loans; Udemy

Americans owe more than $1.75 trillion in student loans and over $850 billion in credit card debt. Whether or not you have loans currently, it’s important to understand how loans and lines of credit work so you can avoid taking on burdensome debt.

This one-hour course from Udemy goes over secured loans, unsecured loans, term loans and revolving credit so you understand how each type of debt works.

If you’ve got student loans, you might also look into Udemy’s course, “Tools and Strategies to Pay Off Student Loan Debt Quickly.” Although this course isn’t free ($19.99 at the time of writing), it could be useful for learning about repayment options and ideas for boosting your income.

But on the other hand, you don’t need to pay money to find excellent student loan advice. Take a look around Student Loan Hero for almost anything you need to know about school debt, including this guide on how to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule.

Duration: 49 minutes

Free personal finance course FAQs

It may eventually be in your interest to pay for personal finance education, particularly for live or in-person training where you can get your questions answered immediately. To begin your education or to start specializing in particular topics, however, you can sign up for free personal finance courses without commitment.

How can I learn about personal finance for free?

There are a wide variety of free personal finance courses from reputable online platforms like Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, Skillshare and Udemy. These platforms could be a good place to start, as you only need access to a device with internet service. There are other ways to learn about personal finance for free, though. You might also look into resources at your local library, for example. Your neighborhood bank or credit union might also offer educational materials or even sponsor a financial planning event where you can pick the brain of a Certified Financial Professional (CFP).

More ways to learn about personal finance for free:
Best personal finance podcasts
Most helpful personal finance books
Top personal finance accounts on Instagram

Which free personal finance course should I try?

It really depends on both your experience level with personal finance and what topics you’re aiming to learn about. If you’re completely new to managing your money, for example, you might prioritize courses about building your credit history and establishing a budget. If you’ve been exposed to personal finance education in the past, on the other hand, you might take courses that increase your knowledge around more complex topics like debt repayment and investing. If you’re not sure where to start, consult our list of free personal finance courses.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
1.19% – 11.98%1Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.62% – 11.73%*,2Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

0.94% – 11.44%3Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.64% – 11.45%4Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Ascent

1.89% – 11.92%5Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SoFi

0.00%6Undergraduate
Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

N/A7Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit FundingU

0.00% – 23.00%8Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Edly

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 4/19/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

3 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 13.03% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.19% APR to 10.14% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada.


4 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Ascent loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs

Rates are effective as of 05/01/2022 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes income-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates.

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions, please visit AscentFunding.com/Cashback. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student borrowers must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs are available for the most creditworthy applicants and may require a cosigner.


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

Sofi Disclosures

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 3.47% to 11.16% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.89% to 11.92% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60to 11.06% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 2.59% to 11.82% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.48% to 11.16% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.69% to 11.92% APR (with autopay). For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 05/04/2022. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Loans originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 3.48% – 11.64% (3.48% – 10.78% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.89% – 11.64% (4.89% – 11.34% APR).

Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 10.39% (4.49% – 9.68% APR).

Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.43% – 9.19% (4.44% – 8.89% APR).

Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.80%-8.23% (4.80%-8.24% APR).

Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.40% – 12.83% APR).

Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.98% – 10.09% APR).

ERL Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of May 1, 2022, the 30-day average SOFR index is 0.29%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.

Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.

Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer.  Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.


7 Important Disclosures for Funding U.

Funding U Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are made by Funding University which is a for-profit enterprise. Funding University is not affiliated with the school you are attending or any other learning institution. None of the information contained in Funding University’s website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by Funding University or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.


8 Important Disclosures for Edly.

Edly Disclosures

1. Loan Example:

  • Loans from $5,000 – $20,000
  • Example: $10,000 IBR Loan with a 7% gross income payment percentage for a Senior student making $65,000 annually throughout the life of the loan.
    • Payments deferred for the first 12 months during final year of education.
    • After which, $270 Monthly payment for 12 months.
    • Then $379 Monthly payment for 44 months.
    • Followed by one final payment of $137 for a total of $20,610 paid over the life of the loan.

About this example

The initial payment schedule is set upon receiving final terms and upon confirmation by your school of the loan amount. You may repay this loan at any time by paying an effective APR of 23%. The maximum amount you will pay is $22,500 (not including Late Fees and Returned Check Fees, if any). The maximum number of regularly scheduled payments you will make is 60. You will not pay more than 23% APR. No payment is required if your gross earned income is below $30,000 annually or if you lose your job and cannot find employment.

2. Edly Student IBR Loans are unsecured personal student loans issued by FinWise Bank, a Utah chartered commercial bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to eligibility criteria and review of creditworthiness and history. Terms and conditions apply.