Faith & Credit
A program of the Center for Responsible Lending
Supporting faith community efforts to end predatory lending.
Clergy and faith leaders have long been powerful voices against abusive lending, and Faith & Credit, CRL's Faith-Based Program, works to amplify these voices through research and policy, campaign support, and religious reflection.
Recently, Faith & Credit supported the National Day of Action to Stop Payday Lending on February 14. Organized by faith leaders across the country, the event launched a year of anti-payday advocacy with actions from Grand Rapids to Birmingham. Read the organizers’ January 1 Emancipation Proclamation from Payday Lending and sign up for updates to get involved in future activities. Additionally, more than a dozen faith leaders convened in D.C. in March to discuss religious opposition to usury, faith-based alternatives to payday loans and campaigns to bring faith voices to bear on anti-payday lending advocacy.
For people of faith, responsible lending is a moral concern. Religious texts warn against usury – the practice of charging excessive or unjust interest – particularly if paying that interest would deprive a person of basic necessities, livelihood or home. Faith leaders are often on the front lines in the fight against abusive lending, working with families who are grappling with foreclosure and debt and calling for economic empowerment through responsible banking.
Is 400% interest too much?
Download a congregational discussion guide on Modern Day Usury: the Payday Debt Trap.
Religious resources on debt and lending
- Dr. Barrett Duke of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote his March 2013 commentary on the payday lending debt trap.
- Religious investors with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility "rank the banks" noting dangers of faulty mortgage servicing, payday lending.
- On behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference and the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas, Bishop Joe Vasquez recently testified in support of a current legislative effort to reform payday lending in the Lone Star State.
- Modern Day Usury: the Payday Debt Trap, a church discussion guide
- A Reformed Understanding of Usury for the 21st Century provides history and analysis of lending from a Reformed Christian understanding