How would you measure someone making progress toward escaping poverty? If you've been tuned in to the asset-building movement you might look at their accumulation of assets and preparation for a financial emergency. You might also want to look at cash flow. But can poverty-fighting be solely measured by money?
A government report concludes that residents of low- and moderate-income Census tracts have as much access to bank branches as residents in middle- and upper-income tracts in rural areas and large metropolitan areas. Yet access to bank services for low- and moderate-income consumers is still being lost. Why is that?
Talk of tax reform has reached a fever pitch, but most Americans don't realize just how high the stakes are and what impact the final legislation could have on their own financial security for years to come.
If expanding access to homeownership can reverse the trends of growing racial wealth inequality, why are we seeing so many states roll back the supports that make homeownership possible?
When the 2017 Prosperity Now Scorecard was published last month, it was no surprise that Louisiana ranked second-to-last among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as it typically falls somewhere near the bottom. In many ways, the Scorecard confirmed what we already knew: that most Louisiana families, especially low-income families and families of color, are not faring well financially. What was surprising, however, was how far Louisiana had fallen.
Some CDFIs approve loans based on a person’s character instead of their credit score. But they only recommend doing so when you know the applicant.
A lack of access to capital, capacity-building resources, and technical assistance significantly constrains the ability of CDFIs led by people of color to achieve greater impact.
The truth is most entrepreneurs’ firms don’t grow quickly, employ people, or earn much money. And, more importantly, entrepreneurial success has far less to do with exceptional skill than with one’s ability to weather repeated failure and financial loss.
SoFi is practicing product segregation. It wants to serve affluent people with its best products and shunt low- and moderate-income borrowers into inferior products that do not meaningfully serve credit needs.
Over an organization’s 25 years in existence, how do staff and volunteers measure impact and build off of lessons learned to guide their next steps forward?
These ideas aren’t new, but pulling them together in a collective, coherent way will push back against those who, like their predecessors of 80, 70, 60 and 50 years ago, would deny long-term stability to those for reasons more than just the color of their money.
How would the trajectories of children’s lives change if they knew that their state, their community and their parents were investing in their future success for as long as they could remember?
Black people were excluded from many of the income and wealth-building programs that helped build the foundation of white Americans’ wealth today.
Today, most women have the autonomy and ability to take charge of our finances, but we don’t all do it.
Too many of us have the misconception that elderly Asian Americans live a charmed life that is financially secure with strong family ties. This isn’t accurate.
Seven percent of U.S. households, a group roughly the size of the population of Australia, were “unbanked” in 2015, meaning they have neither a checking nor savings account. This is the lowest unbanked rate recorded since the survey first launched in 2009
Advocates and organizers who deal with the needs of the poor often say it's not really a housing/food/training issue, it's an income issue. So what would happen if we just addressed income?
The absence of bank branches and the proliferation of high-priced alternative lenders in the region only underscore the importance of access to affordable financial services.
While I am a firm believer in equal access to higher education for all, it’s over-emphasized in our individualistic culture as a solution to society’s woes.
In a world of growing financial complexity, predatory products, stagnating wages, and escalating inequality, financial insecurity is a dramatic problem. We gathered a group of leaders who are combating financial insecurity for a conversation on how it all relates.
A yearlong analysis of 200-plus households suggests that we should add a third leg to the financial security stool along with income and assets: cash flow.
Research shows a connection between the financial instability of families and the economic health of communities.
Unpredictable hours lead to unpredictable cash flow, which is a barrier to budgeting and saving. One response to this, the Opportunity to Work Initiative, would require that San Jose employers give more hours to part-time employees before hiring new staff.
A majority of mainstream lenders base loan approvals on a hotly debated three-digit score. Are there better, fairer ways to assess risk?
What does it take to achieve financial security for the millions of American households without it? Clearly full employment, higher wages, and a more robust safety net would be some major components. But as important as those are, they aren’t the full picture. Assets are an important counterweight to income.
Reading What It’s Worth was like walking through one of the glorious Asset Learning Conferences that CFED organizes, equipped with a magical Harry Potter wand that allows me to stop and re-work time so I can peer into each workshop at my leisure.
Children's savings accounts for higher education, even those that have accumulated only small amounts of money, can change expectations for low-income students and they might also provide a vehicle for larger wealth transfers.
Changes to the tax code, and tax programs that support low-wage earners, will strengthen gains made in the asset-building field.
Financial curricula for low-income households often focus on personal choices about budgeting and saving, but if they don't also address systemic problems, exploitation, and discrimination, they aren't speaking to their audience's reality.
Regardless of income level, a family that is just getting by is locked in a state of stress and vulnerability.
What is productive agricultural land and clean water worth? What are strong communal relationships worth? What is a clear connection to heritage, to culture, to past, to future, and self, worth?
What happens to families who are financially vulnerable and rely upon free financial counseling and coaching services to get out of debt or repair their credit score?
Today’s economic climate offers little hope to many struggling families. Family incomes still lag in comparison, for example, to rising housing costs in many markets.
Comparative income quintiles don’t tell us very much about the material conditions of people’s lives. When someone rises into the top fifth, someone else falls into the bottom fifth.
I attended my first ever Assets Learning Conference, put on by CFED last week, and I have to say it was mighty impressive. And I was particularly pleased to see that economic justice and things like reforming the tax code to be less regressive and reward savings by low- and middle-income Americans, rather than mostly […]
Financial Justice is the untold story of how a diverse group of progressive organizations took on the powerful financial lobby, pushed Congress to create a strong new consumer protection agency and against the odds, won.
A: Yes! And keeps them safer than traditional homeownership does.
Last week, we asked readers if credit scores were too much of a driver in home loan approval. You answered overwhelmingly that yes, credit...