Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Increasing Asset Acquisition for Low-Wealth Hoosiers

Network News

Midwest Asset Building Conference 2019: Request for Presenters

The members of the Midwest Asset Building Conference Planning Committee [The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), Illinois Asset Building Group, Prosperity Indiana/the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network, Ohio CDC Association and Minnesota Asset Building Coalition] are currently seeking innovative and engaging speakers and presenters focused on asset building and financial empowerment in the Midwest.

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Kathleen Taylor
In the News: Effort to legalize 'loan shark' rates could bring a new breed of lender to Indiana

The Indiana Senate is poised to vote on a measure Tuesday that would allow payday and subprime lenders to charge interest rates on small loans at levels currently classified as felony loan sharking. 

The payday loan industry has pushed for similar legislation for the past three years, only to be rebuffed amid concerns from social service organizations and others who see such high-interest rates as predatory.

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Kathleen Taylor
Meet the Breakfast Presenters

During the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network Breakfast on January 30, attendees will be the first to learn of new changes that are coming to the Network. They will also have a chance to hear from multiple A&O Steering Committee members. Meet the breakfast presenters by reading their bios below:

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Kathleen Taylor
Financial Literacy 101: College Savings, Loans, and More

Welcome to the start of a new semester…one ripe with opportunity, learning, social awkwardness - if you’re anything like I was in college – and, of course, all of the costs associated with it.

If you’re like a lot of people in the United States, you’ve probably thought a lot about having to pay for you, your child, your grandchild, and/or anyone else close to you, to go to school.  I’ll admit that it’s a pretty daunting thing to deal with, especially when you look at how it will affect your financial life.  While I’m not going to attempt to write something that will make all of your worries go away, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about various ways you can pay for school and mention a few things you should not do.

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Kathleen Taylor
Asset Building Opportunities Lag for 15 Million Single Women

According to a new brief from the Asset Funders Network, women age 45 - 65 represent the first generation to benefit from expanded access to higher education, credit, and other asset building opportunities. The opportunities stem from policy changes that came about as part of the civil rights and women’s movements in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, although record-breaking numbers of women are graduating from college and starting businesses, 15 million single women - namely Black and Latin women - have experienced substantial wealth loss in the past 20 years.

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Kathleen Taylor
How to Develop Work Based Learning Experiences

With a projected million middle skills jobs opening up in Indiana by 2024, skills-based/work-based learning is changing the way educators and employers are training, recruiting, and retaining talent to fill future workforce needs.

Work-based learning (WBL) offers a unique opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop first-hand knowledge and skills beyond the classroom environment through industry exposure and on the job training. It provides employers with a platform to align their training needs with the actual skills necessary to be successful on the job.

Here are a few guidelines to use when building successful work based learning experiences:

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Kathleen Taylor
National Consumer Law Center Report Outlines What Happens After Payday Lenders are Restricted

Consumers in states where predatory lenders are expelled report being relieved and many adapt by employing a variety of safer financial strategies, including budgeting and borrowing from family. However, even once predatory lenders are driven out, payday lenders are finding legal loopholes – such as overdraft loans, installment loans, and auto title loans – that enable them to prey upon the most vulnerable in the community again.

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Kathleen Taylor
ACTION ALERT: Speak Up Today to Defend CRA

We are counting on you to lift your voice to push back against potentially harmful changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). CRA is a landmark civil rights law to end discrimination that was once common in America’s banking and housing markets.

While some strides have been made, the lack of investment in low-income areas and communities of color remains a persistent concern. Even still, regulators have proposed ideas that may substantially weaken the law via an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).  We need you to speak up to ensure CRA is strengthened, not weakened. 

We only have until Nov. 19 to comment on these ideas and urge regulators to consider CRA reforms that more effectively hold banks accountable for equitable investments and help them more flexibly respond to community needs.

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Kathleen Taylor
New Report Reveals Concerning Data on Increasing Number of ALICE Households

ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These households have incomes above the Federal Poverty Level but struggle to afford basic household necessities. In the words of Indiana United Ways Board Chair, Ron Turpin, “ALICE gets up each day to go to work, but still faces financial barriers – working jobs that offer no healthcare, vacation, or paid sick leave. These workers hold jobs that are critical to the success and vitality of our communities, yet they often struggle to afford food, rent, child care, and transportation, and have little left over for saving and investing.”

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Kathleen Taylor
Helping Families Thrive Through Financial Coaching

For the past decade, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development organization with an office in Indianapolis, has cultivated an asset-building model called the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) that bundles one-on-one financial coaching and employment services to help low-wealth families move closer to financial independence.  FOC services are delivered by highly trained coaches in familiar settings – typically organizations with deep roots in the neighborhoods they serve.  Despite good results from this one-on-one approach and people’s stated desired to continue working with a coach, it is often difficult to retain them in a long-term coaching relationship.  To that end, LISC has worked with the Common Cents Lab at Duke’s University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight to test an approach to improved coaching retention based on the principles of behavioral economics.

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Kathleen Taylor
Community Loan Centers: Informational Webinar with Matt Hull

Community Loan Centers (CLC) exist to provide an alternative, fairly-priced loan program to low-income families. On Wednesday, August 29, the Network hosted a free webinar featuring special guest Matt Hull, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations, examining how CLCs are helping families in 16 markets across seven states. Click below to view the full webinar.

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Logan Charlesworth