Financial stress and self-efficacy are examined in relationship to college students’ financial help-seeking behavior utilizing Grable and Joo’s (1999) framework. A cognitive approach is taken by focusing on the moderating role of financial self-efficacy on the relationship between financial stress and financial help-seeking. Data from the 2010 Ohio Student Financial Wellness Survey are analyzed. Logistic regression results indicate that those who are Black, have had a financial education course, have larger current student loan debt, experience higher levels of financial stress, and have high financial self-efficacy tend to seek help from professionals. A moderating role of financial self-efficacy is observed, although the effect is relatively weak. Implications for financial counselors, educators, and practitioners include attention to strategies for reaching populations that underutilize available services, increased effort to reach populations most in need of services, and optimizing opportunities for the inclusion of financial information as an antecedent to productive service provision.

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