The United States Census Bureau recently unveiled its eighth Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) report, detailing the prevalence of poverty in our society and estimating the differences between the official measure of poverty and the poverty measures that take account of non-cash benefits and nondiscretionary expenses.
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.”
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.
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.
Are you saving enough for retirement? Many of us believe we are but, unfortunately, statistics show that’s just not the case here in Indiana.
According to a National Financial Capability Study, research participants were asked five questions covering aspects of economics and finance encountered in everyday life. Only 35 percent of Hoosiers (and 37 percent of U.S. adults) could correctly answer 4 or 5 out of 5.
Today, Senator Donnelly and 48 other senators sent a letter to acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney, calling on the bureau to continue supervision of lending made to active duty servicemembers and their families to ensure that lenders are complying with the Military Lending Act (MLA).
This toolkit guides you through the process of creating rules of thumb—simple, actionable messages that can guide consumers on a decision or action.
In late April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its intent to end public access to the Bureau's complaint database. Following the announcement, stakeholders, such as financial services companies, consumer advocacy groups, and concerned citizens, were invited to submit comments to the Bureau regarding the proposed change.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau joined two payday lender associations — the Consumer Financial Service Association of America and the Consumer Service Alliance of Texas — in a motion to push pause on pending litigation to block implementation of the CFPB’s payday rule. In the same motion, they sought a delay of the rule’s compliance date of August 19, 2019.
Wednesday was a victorious day for consumer advocates across the country. It marked the last day for lawmakers to act to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s payday rule, and the deadline passed without Congress voting to repeal the rule. Resolutions to repeal the rule were introduced in both the House and Senate, but failed to garner sufficient support.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Mick Mulvaney, acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced his intent to end public access to the Bureau’s complaint database. Consumers use the database to file complaints against financial companies, and the CFPB publishes these complaints for public use. “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government,” Mulvaney said.
On Friday, March 23, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill in the Senate that would nullify protections for payday loan borrowers by repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) federal payday loan rule.
This State Policy Blueprint aims to support the leadership of state lawmakers and advocates interested in creating a more inclusive path to prosperity—a path that addresses the challenges and institutional barriers facing low-income communities and communities of color.
Dear Senator Donnelly and Senator Young,
As a statewide coalition working to build assets for low-wealth Hoosiers, the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network (The Network), we have several urgent concerns to bring to your attention regarding S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
INDIANAPOLIS– State Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws prohibit deceptive practices in consumer transactions, such as sales of cars and other goods, loans, home improvements, utility contracts, and mortgage transactions. A new report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) finds that while a strength of Indiana’s UDAP statute is that it has broad prohibitions of deceptive and unconscionable acts, the statute has a number of weaknesses.
During the 1960s, an alternative model for delivering health education to "hard-to-reach populations, traditionally excluded racial/ethnic groups, and other ... underserved communities" was gathering steam. The "instructors" of health education were called promotores de salud ("promoters of health"). Rather than being health care professionals, promotores were lay community members who received specialized training to provide basic health education. The practice was, and remains, especially popular in Latino communities where citizenship, language, and familiarity with the health care system are common barriers to accessing care. The core objective of the promotora is to educate target audiences about health issues affecting their community and provide guidance in accessing health care resources.
The application of the promotora model from a health care application to a financial literacy application shows promise as an alternative model to deploy financial education to these same "hard-to-reach populations, traditionally excluded racial/ethnic groups, and other ... underserved communities."
The Indiana College Readiness Report released by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education shows tracks the status of Indiana High School students. Indicators include number of students who took the AP test, earned duel credit from an Indiana public college, Socioeconomic status, and more.
This primer aims to identify the elements of advocacy, policy design and implementation practices that improve outcomes for people of color.
Tuesday, February 6 marked the release of the 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard. Issued annually, the Scorecard is a comprehensive resource for data on household financial health and policy recommendations to help put everyone in our country on a path towards prosperity. It ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia across five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care, and Education. The Scorecard also separately assesses states on the strength of policies to expand economic opportunity. The Scorecard is accompanied by a main findings report titled “Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It?”
On Tuesday, January 16, the effective date of the “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement, indicating it would engage in a rule-making process to reconsider its Payday Rule. The Indiana Assets & Opportunities Network (the Network) sees this as a significant step backward in consumer protections for low-income households.