Family Finances

Set Up to Fail: Fines, Fees & Financial Insecurity

January 28, 2021  • Joanna Smith-Ramani, Financial Security Program & Asset Funders Network

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Chronic Debt is a rapidly growing problem among households across the US and a significant barrier to financial stability and wealth building.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many households were already struggling; 77% of Americans held some form of debt. COVID-19 presented an unprecedented challenge to both households and the broader economy. Widespread unemployment left many scrambling to cover rent, utility payments, food, and medical bills — and many took on debt to cover these costs and other expenses. There is an urgent need for debt-reduction tools, strategies, and solutions. Debt reduction is particularly important for Black, Indigenous, and people of color who, because of structural racism, are more likely to encounter predatory lending practices, face difficulties with repayment, and have little or negative net worth.

This is the first installment of Asset Funders Network’s three-part series on consumer debt.

Click here to access the webinar and related slide deck.