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Faith and Credit

The CRL's Faith & Credit program supports communities of faith working to eliminate abusive lending. Learn more

About Us

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is working to ensure a fair, inclusive financial marketplace that creates opportunities for all responsible borrowers, regardless of their income, because too many hard-working people are deceived by dishonest and harmful lending practices.

While the housing crash was devastating to families at all income levels, it was disproportionately destructive to entire communities of low- and moderate-income families and borrowers of color. In fact, it wiped out generations of family wealth in these communities. Many of these families had successful 30-year loans, but they were lured by the promises of deceptive marketing and then financially devastated when they were placed in egregious loan products.

CRL is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works to protect homeownership and family wealth by fighting predatory lending practices. Our focus is on consumer lending: primarily mortgages, payday loans, credit cards, bank overdrafts and auto loans.

Our History: Building on 30+ Years of Lending Experience

CRL's work grows directly from our affiliation with Self-Help, our founder and one of the nation's largest nonprofit community development lenders. For over 30 years, Self-Help has worked to create ownership and economic opportunity in underserved communities through responsible loans and financial services.

Read more about CRL's history.

2012 Winner: MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

Research & Policy Solutions

CRL conducts ground-breaking research on the extent and impact of predatory lending, to provide useful information to consumers, community advocates, and policymakers alike. We develop reasonable, practical policy solutions and share these with advocates and policymakers interested in reforming lending practices at the state or federal level. See more on CRL's research and policy work.

How to Support CRL's Work

The need for smart, effective consumer financial protections has never been greater, and CRL is committed to the fight. While we have had significant success in the past ten years, it wasn’t due to CRL’s efforts alone. It came from our work with lawmakers of all political stripes, community advocates, state and federal regulators, lenders, and everyday citizens.

Here's how YOU can join us in the fight against predatory lending:


Make a financial contribution to help CRL in its work—there is still much to do and we need your support. The Center for Responsible Lending is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible.

If you are a grant-making organization or interested in making a cy pres award, CRL's development team would love to talk with you.

The Center for Responsible Lending is supported currently by a number of organizations, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, California Community Foundation, F. B. Heron Foundation, Ford Foundation, Friedman Family Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Institute, Park Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, San Francisco Foundation, Sandler Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, Sears Consumer Protection and Education Fund, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Y&H Soda Foundation, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. CRL also has received support from individual donors, the Google for Nonprofits program, and a cy pres Award from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.