The High Cost of Poverty
I tossed this into tab dump last night, but The Post'sDeNeen Brown's article on the high cost of being poor is really worth a full read. Brown focuses on a few costs: Those of goods, like groceries, which tend to be higher in the stores that serve low-income consumers. And that of wasted time, which low-income workers often have less control over.
But she also includes a nice section on financial services. Part of that question is financial literacy. A lot of folks don't know enough about credit to not get taken advantage of. And payday lenders and check-cashing services and car title loans are pretty good at figuring out how to take advantage of ignorance. But part of it is a simple lack of power. If a bank won't serve you, or you don't have the transportation necessary to easily reach a bank, then what choice do you have if you need money quickly? A $46.50 fee on a $300, seven-day loan is several types of insane, but it might well be preferable to the consequences of turning your rent in late.
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