Issues and Challenges

  • BankOne in four U.S. families is asset poor.
  • Asset-building opportunities should be available throughout the life cycle.
  • Lower income communities lack access to the mainstream financial and credit industry.
  • Predatory lending practices, such as payday loans and refund anticipation loans, prevent lower income families from building assets. 
  • The racial wealth gap in the United States persists after centuries of government policies advantaging wealth accumulation by white Americans.

Policy Agenda

  • Create asset-building opportunities, such as Children's Savings Accounts, Individual Development Accounts, and automatic Individual Retirement Accounts, that serve individuals throughout the life cycle.
  • Reform predatory lending and provide avenues for low-income and minority families to access mainstream financial services and products.
  • Reform public policies to encourage rather than penalize savings by public assistance beneficiaries.
  • Eliminate the racial wealth gap.
  • Implement comprehensive financial education in grades K-12.