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The U.S. faith community has responded primarily with concern and critique to President Trump’s budget proposal. The Central Conference of American Rabbis said it “strenuously objects” to the budget in a May 25 press release, asserting “The President’s budget recommendation neglects the foundational values that we hold dear as Reform rabbis and as Americans.” The […] Read More

The Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal has, like all presidential budgets, received mixed reviews. Its overall goal of decreasing the national debt by reigning in spending is a worthy endeavor that should be commended. Spending more than we take in is unwise and unsustainable, whether on a personal or national scale. As President Trump rightly […] Read More

Predatory lending practices within the U.S. payday loan industry are becoming more widely recognized as advocates, including many in the faith community, push for reforms. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been analyzing the industry for several years, recently publishing a set of proposed regulations to address, among a number of issues, exorbitant interest […] Read More

There are more payday loan and title loan companies in Missouri than Starbucks, McDonald’s and Wal-Marts combined. Think about that. It’s hard to imagine being charged 450 percent on a 30-day loan for $650, but I saw one of these loan applications for myself. I cannot imagine what it is like for persons who have […] Read More

Auto title loan borrowers often find themselves in debt cycles, and many have their vehicles seized due to their inability to repay the loan, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report. “Auto title loans, also known as vehicle title loans, are high-cost, small-dollar loans in which borrowers let a lender hold the title […] Read More

There is an elephant in the room that many churches are trying to ignore: future finances. Many small, struggling churches survive financially today because of the faithful giving of people in the past. When churches were full of the Builder generation, the giving was strong enough to allow many of them to save significant sums […] Read More

Bank penalty fees and closed accounts are common, hidden costs of online payday loans, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report. A consumer who receives an online payday loan provides their bank account information to the lending group, which submits drafts at scheduled intervals to collect loan payments. When a draft is submitted to […] Read More

Payday loans and predatory lending practices were a key focus of a House Financial Services Committee hearing last week. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), offered a semi-annual report and answered committee members’ questions, several of which focused on payday lending. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking committee member, praised the […] Read More

Everyone’s talking about debt these days. And so they should, for it’s a critical issue. But is debt a bad thing? Is it reasonable to say that there’s good debt and bad debt? Good debt seems to me to be manageable – a mortgage is hopefully a manageable debt if we’re not encouraged to borrow […] Read More

Finances have long been a source of conflict in many clergy homes. Few people go into the ministry with the thought of becoming wealthy, but many are not prepared for the reality of what churches provide in the way of salary and benefit packages. Often, it is not enough to provide financially for the family […] Read More