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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, student debt, 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:


Consider making a financial contribution to help CRL in its work. 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.

If you are a grantmaking organization or interested in making a cy pres award, CRL's development team would love to talk with you. Our staff can also assist with planning for the future by exploring bequests and other planned giving options. Please contact us with questions and for more information.

The Center for Responsible Lending is currently supported by a number of organizations, including the Ford Foundation, Friedman Family Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Norflet Progress Fund, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Prudential Foundation, Sandler Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Triangle Community Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. CRL also receives support from individual donors and cy pres awards.