Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

  1. Does Community Access to Alternate Financial Services Relate to Individual's Use of Service

    There is concern that the increasing accessibility of alternative financial services in communities across the US is risking individuals' financial health by increasing their use of these high-cost services, potentially trapping them into carrying burdensome debt, damaging their credit scores, or delaying payments on rent or utilities. This study uses restricted-access, zip code data from a nationally representative sample of nearly 24,000 adult individuals to examine whether the concentration of alternative financial services within communities relates to individuals’ use of these services. Generally, the assumption holds that increased access is associated with increased use; however, there are differences in how individuals use alternative financial services based on their annual household income. Modest and highest income individuals are more likely to use these services when they live in communities with higher concentrations of alternative financial services. For lowest income individuals, higher concentrations are associated with their more frequent or chronic use of these services. Local, state, and national policies are needed to provide safe and affordable financial services within communities and to regulate the expanding alternative financial services industry.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Kepple, N. (2016). Does community access to alternative financial services relate to individuals' use of these services (AEDI Research Brief)? Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Kepple, Nancy

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  2. Does Community Access to Alternate Financial Services Relate to Individual's Use of Service

    There is concern that the increasing number of alternative financial services in communities across the US is risking individuals' financial health by increasing their use of these highcost services. To address this concern, this study used restricted-access, zip code data from nationally representative samples of adult individuals and examined whether the density or concentration of alternative financial services within communities related to individuals’ use of these services. The associations between community density and individuals' use varied by annual household income: Communities' higher density of alternative financial services was associated with the increased probability that modest and highest income individuals ever used these services, while higher density was associated with more chronic use among lowest income individuals. State regulation that prohibited payday lenders was protective for modest and highest income individuals, but had no effect for lowest income individuals. Policy implications are discussed.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Kepple, N. (2016). Does community access to alternative financial services relate to individuals’ use of these services? Beyond individual explanations. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Kepple, Nancy

    Financial Inclusion Working Paper Year 2015