Advancing equity: the power and promise of credit building

Credit is an essential ingredient for economic security and mobility. Without a high credit score and affordable, available capital, it is nearly impossible to get by financially, let alone get ahead. Our economic system, and the American Dream it is supposed to feed, is based on the belief that anyone has access to credit and can build economic security, wealth, and intergenerational transfer.

This brief will analyze what is not working within our credit system and identify what philanthropy can do to reimagine a system that builds economic security and mobility for everyone, especially people of color and immigrants. An equitable credit system would create pathways to narrow the racial wealth gap instead of continuing to widen it. Solutions include nonprofit organizations and community
development financial institutions (CDFIs) delivering financial products that are designed for the people who have been most excluded from the credit system, seeding their journey toward economic security, as well as systemic changes to make economic security and mobility more fairly attainable.

A webinar is also available and you can view the webinar slides here

 



Pilot Study: Buy Now, Pay Later Services in Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has published a pilot study on the use and understanding of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services in Canada as part of the Agency’s research on emerging consumers trends.

Similar to instalment loans, BNPL services allow consumers to purchase goods and services and pay for them over time, either by spreading their payments out into equal, smaller instalments, or by delaying their payments.

Among those surveyed, 34% indicated that they were familiar with these services, and 8% indicated that they had used at least one such service between September 2019 to March 2021. The most common items purchased this way included furniture or appliances (39%), electronics (32%), and clothing and fashion (23%); however, some consumers used the services for household essentials (8%) and groceries (5%). As these findings are based on a small sample, additional research is needed to establish a more comprehensive picture of how Canadians use and understand BNPL services.



Cash Value: How The Financial Clinic Puts Money into the Pockets of Working Poor Families

Practitioners engaged in the nascent field of financial development lack a shared system of tracking and analyzing customer progress toward financial security. Practice leaders—ranging from direct service organizations such as the Chicago-based LISC to NeighborWorks America of Washington, D.C.—define customer progress by their individual outcomes frameworks. But without uniform outcomes measures to assess our customers’ progress—and thus, our own performance—the field as a whole is handicapped. Many factors contribute to this problem, two being most prominent: organizations are grounded in distinct theories of change, are funded by a variety of sources with their own expectations, and lack of clarity about how to measure aspects of our work.

COVID-19 Financial Resource Centre

Credit Canada has pulled together financial information from trusted sources and released original content to help Canadians manage their finances during COVID-19.



Race, Ethnicity, and the Financial Lives of Young Adults: Exploring Disparities in Financial Health Outcomes

Young adults of color, particularly those who are Black and Latinx, have borne a disproportionate share of economic hardship, as decades of systemic racism have made their communities more vulnerable to the effects of these crises. This report shares new data on the financial lives of young adults, focusing on Black and Latinx young adults, in order to inform policies, programs, and solutions that can improve financial health for all.