CRL in the News
Research has shown that payday lending specifically targets Black communities. In 2005, The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group that promotes policies to curb predatory lending, found that African-American neighborhoods in North Carolina had three times as many payday loan stores per capita as white neighborhoods.
In the midst of the growing economic crisis, communities of color are hit disproportionately hard. These communities, particularly Black communities, are still recovering from previous disasters, like Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 foreclosure crisis. The health disparities that plague these communities coincide with the growing economic threat. Policymakers’ responses to COVID-19 must account for pervasive racial and economic inequality, and must prioritize protection from debt-related abuses.
Many banks also enraged owners at the start by rejecting their applications if they didn’t have multiple accounts including existing loans or lines of credit. And some of the biggest banks in the country took a week or more to start accepting applications. The problems made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending, a research group.
Listen to an interview with Ellen Harnick on KCBS Radio in San Francisco about the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also offers tips for maintaining and protecting your credit score during the crisis.
The CARES Act provided important temporary relief for student loan borrowers, permitting many with federally held debt to skip payments for 6 months, with borrowers generally given credit towards forgiveness for those payments. The legislation halted collections, though a significant number of borrowers were excluded. However, given the severity of the COVID-19 economic impacts, and the dire circumstances for many student loan borrowers, more comprehensive and long-term student debt relief is required to enable these families to recover.