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Robin Howarth

Senior Researcher

Robin is based in CRL's Durham office and has been a senior researcher there since late 2015 conducting research in student lending, small dollar lending, and debt buying. She also co-leads the student loan issue team with a focus on defending student borrower protections at the federal level and increasing federal and state accountability for student loan servicers and for-profit colleges.

Prior to joining CRL, Robin was a visiting professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC, where she also earned her PhD. From 2003 until 2015, she taught graduate and undergraduate economic and community development courses with a particular emphasis on finance. Her research interests at UNC focused on urban real estate markets, market analysis, and community development/ engagement.

Her background also includes experience serving as a grant reviewer for U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund and facilitating workshops for state and local officials in development finance. She began her career in banking on the West Coast in various corporate and commercial real estate lending roles. Robin earned her BA and MA from Stanford University.

Research & Policy

Our in-depth research of financial practices is intended to guide policymakers and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.



August 29, 2018
Report from Center for Responsible Lending exposes hardships faced by students of for-profit colleges that exploit a weak regulatory system DURHAM, N.C. -- For-profit colleges in Florida prey on...
June 7, 2018
Numbers Confirm Abysmal Outcomes While Focus Groups Reveal the Human Impact of Bad Federal Education Policy; State Action Crucial DURHAM, N.C. – A new Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) research...
September 14, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) released a bipartisan poll that finds voters across the country overwhelmingly support...
April 20, 2017 | By A.J. Higgins | Maine Public Radio
Maine students attending private, for-profit colleges are quicker to borrow and slower to repay their student loans when compared to the their counterparts across the country, according to the Center...