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Research Archives

Banking on Opportunity: A Scan of the Evolving Field of Bank On Initiatives  (2011)
This report provides background on the “Bank On” model, an approach to expand access to safe, affordable financial services and related financial education for unbanked households, through collaborations of financial institutions, financial educators, trusted community organizations, local and state government leaders, and others. The report provides summary information about program structures, partnerships, funding, successes and challenges, special considerations and gaps in the field. The report also includes case studies from two established initiatives, in Savannah, Georgia, and Seattle-King County, Washington.


Characteristics of Users of Refund Anticipation Loans and Refund Anticipation Checks (2010)
This report describes characteristics of Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL) and Refund Anticipation Check (RAC) users by demographic factors, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) use, income and assets, and geography, with insights from industry stakeholders on use of RALs and RACs.  The report is based on IRS data from 2008 and prior years.  Findings are that many factors--EITC receipt, filing as a head-of-household, having no interest income, and living in a low-income neighborhood--relate strongly to RAL/RAC use, controlling for other characteristics, such as income. Industry stakeholders report consumers demand RALs/RACs partially to pay for return preparation.


Prohibitions, Price Caps, and Disclosures:  A Look at State Policies and Alternative Financial Services Product Use (2010)
This study examines the relationship between state-level policies about alternative financial services (AFS) (prohibitions, price caps, disclosures) and consumer use of payday loans, auto title loans, pawn broker loans, refund anticipation loans, and rent-to-own transactions.  Looking across five products rather than at one product in isolation allows a focus on patterns across products. In general, the results suggest that more stringent state price caps and prohibitions are associated with lower product use.
 

State Restrictions on Small-Dollar Loans and Financial Services, 2005–2009:  Summary, Documentation, and Appendix  (2010)
This document accompanies the report Prohibitions, Price Caps, and Disclosures, described above, by providing summaries of the types of state loan and financial services restrictions and state-by-state summary tables.


Research on Financial Behaviors and Use of Small-Dollar Loans and Financial Services:  Literature Review (2010) 
This literature review, compiled in 2010, provides an overview of research on auto title loans, pawnshops, payday lending, refund anticipation loans (RALs) and checks (RACs), and rent-to-own (RTO).  It highlights key findings relevant for additional research.

Summary of Developing a Research Agenda on Small-Dollar Credit and Financial Empowerment (March 4, 2010)
This summarizes the proceedings of early 2010 convening of experts to discuss research questions that need to be answered to inform policymakers, especially at the federal level, to ensure that consumers have access to credit, that information about credit is fair and clear, and that the forms of credit are viable for credit providers.
 
Community Financial Access Pilot  (2008-2009)
The Community Financial Access Pilot (CFAP) was a Treasury initiative to increase access to financial services and financial education for low- and moderate income families and individuals.  Promising practices were gathered and shared with participating communities to help them build sustainable approaches to expanding access to financial services. Lessons learned from the pilot communities were compiled so others could implement programs in their communities.
 
 
 
Last Updated: 5/15/2014 1:18 PM