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Navigating the Shoals

Financial Service Strategies for Low-Income Consumers

By Deborah B. Goldberg

Fringe banking poses considerable cost and risk to low-income consumers, yet some consumers find the advantages of the fringe sector compelling and the barriers to mainstream banking difficult to overcome. The drive for profits and ineffective regulatory restraints have led mainstream and fringe institutions alike to exploit vulnerable consumers. Community groups are working to change the marketplace by tackling the regulatory environment and pioneering alternative financial institutions.

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