Plastic Safety Net

My new study out this week from Demos and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) looks at credit card debt in the Latino community. But it isn’t ultimately about credit cards at all. Instead, it’s a look at how our unemployment insurance system has failed to protect out-of-work Americans, how vast...
“It's just dumb to approach retirement with a bunch of credit-card debt.”  That’s the response of one personal finance expert to a recent Demos study on older Americans and credit card debt. My research found that among low- and middle-income Americans carrying credit card...
"I served in the military for 30 years and received the highest level security clearances," said Brooklyn resident and war veteran Emmett Pinkston.  "Yet I was turned down for a job as a TSA baggage screener, because of a bogus charge on my credit report.  I found myself stuck at a low...
What would you do if you were laid off from a job? While you looked for a new position, you’d likely cut expenses as much as possible and begin drawing on any savings you have to pay the bills you can’t avoid. As time went on, you might turn to family, friends, and community...
“I can afford to get ripped off,” Stephen Colbert informed Demos’ Tammy Draut back in May 2009 “I think it’s the poor people who can’t afford to get ripped off who are ruining this for everybody.” The joke hit the mark, but Comedy Central’s satirical...
Consumer borrowing can be a powerful sign of economic confidence, an indication that households are feeling flush and assured of their future ability to pay back debt without undue difficulty. So when the Federal Reserve reported late last week that Americans borrowed more this June than they had...
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