INCOME & WEALTH
The median Black household has a net worth of only $24,100, a fraction of the $188,200 in net worth the median white household has, 2019 Federal Reserve data shows.
It’s time to have a real conversation about the role of finance—all of it, from Wall Street to university endowments to your friend’s rich aunt—in contributing to harm and inequity among communities of color in the US.
Wealth in America has not rebounded from the Great Recession for many and recovery of wealth has been uneven across income, race, and ethnicity. While lower income families have recovered about half of lost wealth, middle-income families continue to see a decline in wealth without signs of abatement. Minority families experience an exacerbated effect due to the racial wealth gap. Wealth gap trends have not escaped the notice of mayors, who cite inclusive economic development as one of several top priorities for American cities.
High cost loans disproportionately affect people of color and pay day lending companies locate their businesses near low income, black and latino neighborhoods. It is not uncommon for interest rates to exceed 300%. Many individuals in our community end up with multiple high interest loans as they seek to pay bills, unexpected expenses or cover emergencies. This results in a downward spiral of debt, bad credit and little to no chance at saving. Neighboring North Carolina and Georgia have passed legislation to cap loans at 36%. We do have alternative solutions through Self Help and CommunityWorks.