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Mortgage Finance, Consumer Debt & Credit, Consumer Protections
Published Article | June 2009

A Bridge to Somewhere

The American Prospect
Janneke Ratcliffe

Center executive director Janneke Ratcliffe examines predatory lending and recommends ways to promote sound financial services for all Americans in this special report of The American Prospect on the U.S. financial crisis.

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Overview

For most Americans, the banking system is a tool to manage our money and build security. Through an array of competitively priced financial products, we can cheaply and easily convert income into assets, make payments, store and invest money, and borrow for consumer purchases, homes, and businesses. To the extent that we flourish, so too do the institutions within this system.

Unfortunately, lower-income consumers operate within a separate and decidedly unequal system. Mainstream providers have little interest in competing for this high frequency/low-balance business, forcing lower-income families to rely on check cashers, payday lenders, pawn shops, automobile-title lenders, high-priced credit cards, tax refund advance lenders, and predatory mortgage lenders.

Center executive director Janneke Ratcliffe examines predatory lending and recommends ways to promote sound financial services for all Americans in this special report of The American Prospect on the U.S. financial crisis.

The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.

 

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