New Book Discusses Access to Financial Services Among the Poor
The new book, Insufficient Funds: Savings, Assets, Credit, and Banking among Low-Income Households, analyzes the financial constraints and choices of low-income families, describes the ways in which low-income families utilize financial services, and discusses policies that could spur better provision of financial services. Edited by Rebecca M. Blank, the newly appointed Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Michael S. Barr, the newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Insufficient Funds is comprised of ten chapters written by leading academics.
The book describes the financial lives of low-income households before focusing on specific topics in financial decision making including: policies to increase saving among the poor, Individual Development Accounts for long-term asset building, the costs and benefits of homeownership for lower-income households, the changing patterns of credit card use and debt burden, and the unique experience of immigrants in the U.S.
Late last year, the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan published a policy brief which includes highlights from the book.
This article originally ran in the IDAresources.org Update Newsletter on 07/09/09 and is available for archival purposes.