When I read “Dis-Credited,” Woodstock Institute’s recent study on racial and income disparities in business lending, I saw in black and white what I have also experienced in flesh and blood.
Woodstock Institute’s most recent report highlights disparities in access to small business loans in the Chicago region. Between 2008 and 2012, businesses in wealthier or predominantly white Census tracts were more likely to receive loans or credit from major financial institutions than businesses in low-income and majority-minority tracts. This creates a substantial business credit gap and allows for little room for businesses in low-income and majority-minority communities to grow. Essentially, marginalized communities become even more marginalized through unbalanced bank lending. However, there is another demographic that also struggles to get the small business loans they need: women.
Shark Week is a summertime staple from the Discovery Channel, but this year, advocates are targeting a different kind of shark: loan sharks. While sharks in the ocean prey on fish and other aquatic animals, payday lenders, also known as loan sharks, prey on people in need by offering them loans with high interest rates that are difficult to pay off.
Results of mystery shopping conducted by Woodstock Institute and allies in four cities across the country reveal that banks often provide confusing and inaccurate information to consumers about overdraft programs and fees for checking accounts. The report released today by California Reinvestment Coalition of Oakland, CA; New Economy Project of New York City, NY; Reinvestment Partners of Durham, NC; and Woodstock Institute of Chicago, IL, calls on federal banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to strengthen consumer protections for all overdraft products and improve oversight of banks who offer overdraft products.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is blowing out the candles on its third birthday cake today, and I hope their hard-working staff is taking a moment to celebrate a job well done. They’ve made substantial progress towards their mission of “making financial markets work for American consumers — whether they’re applying for a mortgage, borrowing for college, choosing a credit card, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”
Access to affordable banking services helps people build wealth, but some persistent barriers deter consumers from opening or keeping a bank account. In the Pew Charitable Trusts’ recent report entitled Overdrawn: Persistent Confusion and Concern About Bank Overdraft Practices , based on a nationally representative survey of American adults, the authors found that 13 percent of people who paid an overdraft penalty say they no longer have a checking account; 19 percent report responding to overdraft fees by discontinuing overdraft coverage; and 28 percent report closing a checking account in response to overdraft fees.
The spring Illinois legislative session just came to an end. Here are highlights of what happened in Springfield on issues affecting wealth-building opportunities for Illinoisans:
The House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee last week called for an end to a critical Department of Justice (DOJ) anti-fraud investigation called “Operation Choke Point.” Eliminating the operation could hamper DOJ’s ability to prevent the financial abuse of some of the most financially vulnerable consumers.
Last year, thousands of consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding financial products. In Illinois, complaints from consumers focused on mortgage services, banking services, credit cards, and other critical services.
Westwood College, a for-profit university, attracts students with a promise of a law enforcement career upon graduation.
You may have heard about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but what can it do for you and your constituents?
Woodstock Institute’s Community Investment Awards event on May 9 brought together about 100 community leaders and Woodstock board members at the beautiful Instituto Cervantes for a festive reception, presentation of awards to local champions, and a film screening and discussion of elder financial abuse.
Some career education programs promise students a bright future, but many graduates of such schools find that they don’t have the right credentials for their careers—and a shockingly high percentage never graduate at all.
Time’s running out! The Community Investment Awards and Film Screening is just three days away!