This Monday, one hundred twenty people packed into the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s offices in San Jose for a discussion on “Alternatives to the Payday Loan Trap.” The meeting was co-hosted with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The Foundation decided to focus on combating payday lending after they learned how many local residents go to payday lenders to get through an emergency, but end up in a debt trap. “When our most vulnerable residents are paying 400 percent APR, that’s plain wrong,” said Silicon Valley Community Foundation President Emmet Carson.
The group engaged in a robust discussion about small dollar loans and alternative products, either that are in place or are being developed. We brought our Flip camera and made several quick, two minute videos with some of the participants.
Click here to hear Silicon Valley Community Foundation Program Officer Pat Krackov describe why the foundation decided to focus on payday lending. She also describes some of the day’s discussion.
Here we interview journalist and keynote speaker Gary Rivlin, author of Broke USA; From Pawnshops to Poverty Inc—How the working poor became big business, and ask what most surprises him the most about the payday lending industry.
Click here and here to hear from Steve Zuckerman, of Self Help USA, who led the discussion about alternative products and helped start Micro-branch, that takes an innovative approach to meet the financial services needs of low income San Jose residents.
See our interview with Donna Ortega with the AARP Foundation here. She talks about the financial services needs of older Americans, and how her Foundation is releasing a new product, an alternative prepaid debit card, to help meet their needs.