Guest Columnist - Charlene Crowell

Charlene Crowell | 10/5/2011, 9:47 p.m.
Communities take local actions to fight predatory lending...
Charlene Crowell

As a result, the City of Dallas imposes payday loan limits and restrictions on store locations will also limit how many payday stores can be located near residences and highways.

Fair Community Credit, a new nonprofit corporation in Kansas City, is working with a local bank, service organizations and a church to offer low-income borrowers access to loans at interest rates no higher than 36 percent. To assure that funds are utilized as intended, credit and income requirements are used to screen loan applications.

And in the Big Apple, a new program called "Borrow and Save" is teaching low-income borrowers that they too can save money and lessen the financial need for loans.

"It's a common misconception that low-income people can't save, and through this product we hope to offer a much-needed product that also incentivizes positive behavior and shows our members that they can save", said Audia Williams, CEO at Union Settlement FCU at the news conference where the program was announced. Other partners include credit unions operating in East Harlem and in the South Bronx - both affiliates of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

These local initiatives remind me of an adage as old as it is true: 'where there's a will, there's a way'.

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at: Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.