Ally Financial in April is stepping up its efforts to help U.S. consumers improve their financial skills.

The results could lead to lower auto-repossession rates and allow car buyers to improve their credit scores, which affect loan rates.  

Launched in connection with Financial Literacy Month, Ally’s “Four Weeks to Get Wise” is a free online program teaching the basics of financing. Ally says mastering the basics can help consumers reach their financial goals.

The automotive lender will provide weekly financial literacy tips and videos on Twitter and YouTube throughout April. The material is drawn from Ally’s Wallet Wise curriculum. It covers topics such as auto finance, credit, budgeting and banking.

Year round, Ally advances financial literacy education through Wallet Wise, which provides free in-person and online courses for consumers, as well as an online quiz to test financial literacy.

Based on quiz results, U.S. consumers average the equivalent of a “C” grade in understanding personal financing. They could use help on certain topics, such as what factors affect credit and budgeting, Ally says.

“Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time for consumers to refresh their financial literacy knowledge and learn a few new things as well,” says Gina Proia, Ally’s chief communications officer and head of community relations.

“Our ‘Get Wise’ tips are an easy way to get consumers to start thinking about their financial goals, and our Wallet Wise curriculum provides the tools to remain on track throughout the year.” 

Ally will kick off the “Get Wise” initiative with tips about credit on April 1. Consumers can follow Ally on Twitter at @Ally for weekly tips and videos and use the hashtag #GetWise.

Auto dealers can reuse the content to reach customers and show their support of financial literacy. They can do that by retweeting or posting the content on their own social media pages and using the hashtag #GetWise.

Ally also will host more than 35 Wallet Wise sessions throughout April in various U.S. markets. The Wallet Wise website is at www.allywalletwise.com.

Ally Financial is a leading automotive financial-services company with more than $151 billion in assets.

The National Automobile Dealers Assn. runs a financial-literacy education program. So do some automakers.

Ford has extended its program to schools and faith-based urban organizations.

Toyota Financial teamed with Whyville.org to use an online game to teach middle-school children about interest rates, down payments, credit, leasing and financial responsibility.

The children finance their own virtual cars. If they miss three payments, the cars are repossessed.

sfinlay@wardsauto.com