Why Consumer Financial Protection Matters

People work hard to provide for their families and improve their financial circumstances, but vulnerable communities continue to be targets for fraudulent, predatory financial products and services. As local governments increasingly work to empower their residents financially, they also can work to protect residents’ hard-earned assets.

Dount Image

Consumer Financial Protection:
Community Impact

5.9+ Million

Complaints filed by US consumers to state and federal agencies in 2021

$3,100 Interest

Average additional amount Black consumers are unfairly charged for a new car

$9.5 Million

Amount lost to scammers in illegal student loan debt forgiveness schemes

2.5 Times

Rate Black and Latino consumers are likely to be victims of debt or income-related fraud, compared to white consumers

Who Needs Consumer Financial Protection?

Households and communities with low incomes, and particularly communities of color, have long been targets of fraudulent and predatory financial products and services. Largely unregulated products and services with deep histories of consumer abuse such as payday and auto title lending, debt collection, and paid tax preparation are pervasive and regularly result in cycles of increasing debt and greater financial instability around the country.

In fact, nearly a quarter of all U.S. households have used at least one high-cost alternative financial product such as check cashing, payday loans, or title-pawn loans. In addition, a quarter of households have dealt with debt collectors, many of whom operate without basic standards of practice regarding accuracy of information or appropriate collection behaviors.