CRL uses trusted expertise, groundbreaking research, and fact-based advocacy to create an inclusive financial marketplace, because too many hard-working Americans are targeted by dishonest and harmful wealth-extraction schemes.
“Some fintech lenders imply leaving tips lets consumers “pay it forward” to help other borrowers, when it’s more likely those tips are paying the CEO’s bonus.”
"Student loan debt is both a product of the racial wealth gap and a tool that exacerbates racial inequality."
"Creating a fair, inclusive financial marketplace will strengthen the economy, create jobs, and build a robust middle class."
“Clearer Buy Now Pay Later disclosures will help consumers know if they can actually afford what they’re borrowing."
“Shielding CFPB from the finance lobby’s influence over annual congressional appropriations is essential for the bureau to do its job and protect consumers.”
“Cutting overdraft fees could save Americans $17 billion a year.”
“People are puzzled by how they can make large payments but not reduce the principal balance on high-cost installment loans.”
“Renters who are Black, Latino, essential workers or weighed down by student debt have an especially steep climb in saving for homeownership.”
Advancing Economic Justice
CRL is a non-partisan, nonprofit research and policy advocacy organization that promotes financial fairness and economic opportunity for all, including families of color, rural residents, women, military personnel, low-income borrowers, low-wealth individuals, and early-career workers.
Founded in 2002, CRL is an affiliate of Self-Help, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit community development financial institutions. This affiliation helps shape our understanding of consumer financial needs.
CRL was the first organization to warn the nation of the 2008 subprime mortgage crash.
After the crash, our research and policy recommendations helped inform the creation of the Dodd- Frank Act, and, ultimately, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Leading Through Action
CRL has helped eliminate or reduce systemic impediments that prevent hard-working borrowers— particularly people that are underserved or harmed by the nation’s ongoing legacy of racial inequality— from accumulating enough savings to cover financial emergencies, pay for their children’s education, purchase a home, plan for a comfortable retirement, and leave a financial legacy for their families.
We helped lead the movement to introduce the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act in 2021, which caps payday loans at 36% APR and has been adopted by 18 states and the District of Columbia.
We led research and advocacy for overdraft reforms that have saved consumers more than $15 billion annually in unnecessary and excessive fees.
Saved more than 1.1 million moderate income borrowers from foreclosure caused by COVID economic distresses through advocacy for forbearance provisions under the CARES Act.
We helped lead a coalition that convinced President Biden to erase over $11.5 billion of student debt for 580,000 borrowers to date, and to propose cancellation of all remaining student debt, up to $20,000 per borrower.
We’re In This Together
CRL works with committed local and national community, faith, and civil rights partners to create a fairer and more inclusive economy by expanding access to responsible credit and capital while reducing abusive financial practices that trap working poor and striving middle-class Americans in a cycle of long-term debt and financial insecurity that worsens racial income and wealth disparities.
We believe industry participants, service providers, policy makers and regulators must work together to create a future- focused financial system that supports the economic realities and aspirations of today’s workforce, while implementing restorative practices and policies that address the effects of historic and continuing discrimination.
Support Our 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 two plus decades, we need your support to continue our advocacy to expand financial opportunity and security and move the nation toward racial and economic equity.
CRL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our work is funded primarily by financial contributions from individuals and grant-making organizations, and through cy pres awards. Your tax-deductible support is critical to help end predatory lending and increase financial fairness.
Here’s more information on how you can help:
Consider making a financial contribution to help CRL create meaningful change. Your support will allow us to continue the fight against predatory lending. CRL is a non- profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible.