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Power Station

Apr 1, 2019

The Center for Responsible Lending was founded in the belief that all communities should have access to fair banking and lending services. And that the nation’s financial marketplace, from Wall Street to banks, should be reformed. It was rooted in the civil rights and economic justice movements and grew out of Self Help, a credit union launched in North Carolina in 1980. What started as a small operation and an experiment in lending to rural and other underserved communities, has become a $7 billion-dollar lender and a community development leader. Self Help proved the theory that a credit union with bonds of trust in a community can provide needed resources and be repaid. It proves, as Power Station guest Niktra Bailey, CRL Executive VP says, “Race does not equate to risk.” "Low income families shouldn’t have to pay more for financial services.” We discussed the state-based advocacy that CRL leads, its unimpeachable research and data and its field building among diverse organizations. We looked back at the promise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the hard-fought “win” of the small dollar loan rule, which over 700 nonprofit and faith-based organizations advocated for. They coalesced around the premise that pay day lenders must apply an ability to repay standard to their loan making, a provision that the current White House is now set to dismantle. Nikitra, a lawyer with an expertise in financial services and a leader committed to those who have been hurt by the debt trap is ready to advocate for the rule, and more, all over again. I learned so much for this conversation and I trust that you will too.