Wine production – Perbacco Cellars http://perbaccocellars.com/ Sun, 27 Mar 2022 04:25:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://perbaccocellars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Wine production – Perbacco Cellars http://perbaccocellars.com/ 32 32 Online payday loans are available in South Carolina https://perbaccocellars.com/online-payday-loans-are-available-in-south-carolina/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 07:16:32 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1204 Everybody has to face financial difficulties at some moment throughout their life. Many issues arise from managing money, and each and every household is faced with it. Even with a high income, it’s usually not enough to pay the expenses, take care of the family and the kids at the same time. Due to the unplanned costs such […]]]>

Everybody has to face financial difficulties at some moment throughout their life. Many issues arise from managing money, and each and every household is faced with it. Even with a high income, it’s usually not enough to pay the expenses, take care of the family and the kids at the same time. Due to the unplanned costs such as medical expenses and medical bills, the world goes to hell. Family members and field trips, the fees that are free parking tickets, expenses you’d prefer not to have are all considered to be bills. The whole process gets exhausting and stops you from being able to make ends meet.

The majority of people take out loans when they are at a low point in their finances, which makes the decision to take out cash-back loans for payday within South Carolina. It is evident how payday loans in South Carolina – GreenDay Online are very sought-after when you conduct a thorough research about the topic. If you are looking for South Carolina payday loan information here are some things you need to be aware of.

South Carolina Payday Loan State Statutes

You can receive up to $500 on payday loans within South Carolina. The loan must not last more that 31 days. This is to prevent your from the obligation to repay the interest that you are obligated to pay. Also, it’s a great practice that you should not pay more than fifteen percent of the money you take out. For a loan amount of $500, you could result in charges of no more than $75. However, you should be aware that interest is accrued on the loan and fees during the duration of your loan. It is also important to be aware that you must repay the loan within 31 days. South Carolina law prohibits rollovers.

Be aware that regardless of South Carolina‘s limitations, the only thing that you need to keep in mind is it’s more straightforward to apply for payday loans when you’re in financial trouble. There is no limit to the amount of loans that you are owed. There are permits for every permit. have been restricted in certain states. One state is farther north. If borrowers take several cash loans, it’s typically difficult to pay for all their loans. When you apply to get your first loan we recommend you ensure that you’ve paid off the loan in full prior to requesting another one.

Do You Have An Inquiry Regarding Payday Loans Within South Carolina?

Don’t feel discouraged if were unable to find the answers to your queries about cash advance loans for South Carolina (SC). We’re open all hours of the day all week long which means you can avail our loan services. You are able to contact us for assistance with installment loans, personal loans as well as payday advances in SC which interest is best suited to your situation best, what types are available in SC and how to get credit, the best way to estimate the duration of payments, etc.

Here we are, to offer dependable financial help for you if you require it, and with options that you can easily handle. With our assistance you’ll be able to solve your issue within just a few hours! This isn’t an untruth. Also, in situations that your relatives aren’t available us, we must provide outstanding assistance to our customers. The principal reason to use cash advances is to demonstrate that we provide a precise and reliable service. We’ll be in touch within a short period of time.

Why Do The People Of South Carolina Need Online Payday loans?

Are you in need of a small amount of money and are you in need of an immediate solution? Are you legally bound to pay for bills, pay the cost of renting your home or aid your family members? It doesn’t matter. If you’re short on time, don’t spend your time on forms that demand long answers. Finally you’ll have the ability to earn enough money in just one day. Get started now! Find something that’s not just enjoyable but also makes you want to help your friends be a part of it.

Quick South Carolina Payday Loan With Poor Credit

Even if you’re located in South Carolina and need some quick cash for unplanned expenses, it’s worth making an application for the pay day loan with bad credit or no credit check.

GreenDay Online is here to assist you get any money that you require to cover a financial crisis. You do not have to put off any further to submit the online form for request that can be found here. Utilize our service to receive your money in one working day!

Request An Instant Payday loan From South Carolina (SC)

If you reside located in South Carolina (SC) and require a loan urgently until the next payday, inform us. We are here to help. hands! Our website lets you quickly and easily obtain the short-term loan. Certain requirements must be met.

  • 18 +
  • US resident
  • employed or to earn a steady income.
  • Bank account

Payday loans can be obtained for amounts that range from $100 to $1000 with periods ranging from 7 and 14 days.

We want to inform you that if you’ve got problems with credit, but require a cash advance to South Carolina, we are willing to work with you. There’s no reason to be worried. We are willing to assist borrowers who have poor credit scores.

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning South Carolina Payday Loans Online

Loans for payday within South Carolina cost how much?

Payday loan lenders who are located in South Carolina are only allowed to charge a maximum of $15 for each $100 borrowed. Therefore, if you’re in need of $100, you’ll be able to get $115 on a check form. The check will be valued at $230 for a $200. While payday lenders may call it an expense, a two week loan is APR of 391 percent (Annual Percentage Rate).

What payday loan amount within South Carolina can one get?

There is only one payday loan within South Carolina. South Carolina. You won’t be able to get any additional loans until the original one is fully paid.

Are I eligible to borrow money if I’m an outsider and not South Carolina resident?

People living in South Carolina may only apply for these cash loans that are short-term. If you’re still keen to cash advance, then you should seek out payday loans in the city you live in.

Are you able to legally obtain an internet-based payday advance within South Carolina?

You are able to apply for up to $550 in payday loans for South Carolina online as long you can provide proof of income or evidence of employment. The loan should be paid back within the maximum allowed period of 31 days.

The review of South Carolina Payday Loans has been completed. To help you resolve any doubts you may have regarding the right loan for you, we’d like to clarify it is this kind of loan you’ll need. Be sure to think carefully before concluding that something isn’t the scenario. If it’s not established, doesn’t suggest that there aren’t any alternatives to consider, such as the payday loan and installment loans — all of which are available on the internet. If you have any questions, please ask us. have, and we’ll respond as quickly as we can by providing prompt, knowledgeable guidance.

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The secret bias hidden in mortgage-approval algorithms https://perbaccocellars.com/the-secret-bias-hidden-in-mortgage-approval-algorithms/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:59 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1118 The new four-bedroom house in Charlotte, North Carolina, was Crystal Marie and Eskias McDaniels’ personal American dream, the reason they had moved to this Southern town from pricey Los Angeles a few years ago. A lush, long lawn, 2,700 square feet of living space, a neighborhood pool and playground for their son, Nazret. All for […]]]>

The new four-bedroom house in Charlotte, North Carolina, was Crystal Marie and Eskias McDaniels’ personal American dream, the reason they had moved to this Southern town from pricey Los Angeles a few years ago.

A lush, long lawn, 2,700 square feet of living space, a neighborhood pool and playground for their son, Nazret. All for $375,000.

Prequalifying for the mortgage was a breeze. They said they had saved much more than they would need for the down payment, had very good credit — scores of 805 and 725 — and earned roughly six figures each, she in marketing at a utility company and Eskias representing a pharmaceutical company. The monthly mortgage payment was less than they’d paid for rent in Los Angeles for years.

They were scheduled to sign the mortgage documents on Aug. 23, 2019 — a Friday — and were so excited to move in they booked movers for the same day.

The Wednesday before the big day, the loan officer called Crystal Marie, and everything changed, she said: The deal wasn’t going to close.

The loan officer told the couple he had submitted the application internally to the underwriting department for approval a dozen, 15, maybe 17 times, getting a “no” each time. The couple had spent $6,000 in fees and deposits — all nonrefundable.

“It seemed like it was getting rejected by an algorithm,” she said, “and then there was a person who could step in and decide to override that or not.”

She was told she didn’t qualify because she was a contractor, not a full-time employee — even though her boss told the lender she was not at risk of losing her job. Her co-workers were contractors, too, and they had mortgages.

Crystal Marie’s co-workers are white. She and Eskias are Black.

“I think it would be really naive for someone like myself to not consider that race played a role in the process,” she said.

An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to white people with similar financial characteristics — even when we controlled for newly available financial factors the mortgage industry for years has said would explain racial disparities in lending.

Holding 17 different factors steady in a complex statistical analysis of more than 2 million conventional mortgage applications for home purchases, we found that lenders were 40% more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans, 50% more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants, and 70% more likely to deny Native American applicants than similar white applicants. Lenders were 80% more likely to reject Black applicants than similar white applicants. These are national rates.

In every case, the prospective borrowers of color looked almost exactly the same on paper as the white applicants, except for their race.

The industry had criticized previous similar analyses for not including financial factors they said would explain disparities in lending rates but were not public at the time: debts as a percentage of income, how much of the property’s assessed worth the person is asking to borrow, and the applicant’s credit score.

Crystal Marie McDaniels poses in front of her home in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, July 9, 2021.
AP

The first two are now public in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Including these financial data points in our analysis not only failed to eliminate racial disparities in loan denials, it highlighted new, devastating ones.

We found that lenders gave fewer loans to Black applicants than white applicants even when their incomes were high — $100,000 a year or more — and had the same debt ratios. In fact, high-earning Black applicants with less debt were rejected more often than high-earning white applicants who have more debt.

“Lenders used to tell us, ‘It’s because you don’t have the lending profiles; the ethno-racial differences would go away if you had them,’” said José Loya, assistant professor of urban planning at UCLA who has studied public mortgage data extensively and reviewed our methodology. “Your work shows that’s not true.”

We sent our complete analysis to industry representatives: The American Bankers Association, The Mortgage Bankers Association, The Community Home Lenders Association, and The Credit Union National Association. They all criticized it generally, saying the public data is not complete enough to draw conclusions, but did not point to any flaws in our computations.

Blair Bernstein, director of public relations for the ABA, acknowledged that our analysis showed disparities but that “given the limitations” in the public data we used, “the numbers are not sufficient on their own to explain why those disparities exist.”

In written statements, the ABA and MBA criticized The Markup’s analysis for not including credit scores and for focusing on conventional loans only and not including government loans, such as those guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Isolating conventional loans from government loans is common in mortgage research because they are different products, with different thresholds for approval and loan terms. Government loans bring people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify into the market but tend to be more expensive for the borrower.

Even the Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that releases mortgage data, separate conventional and FHA loans in their research on lending disparities. Authors of one academic study out of Northeastern and George Washington universities said they focus on conventional loans only because FHA loans have “long been implemented in a manner that promotes segregation.”

As for credit scores, it was impossible for us to include them in our analysis because the CFPB strips them from public view from HMDA data — in part due to the mortgage industry’s lobbying to remove them, citing borrower privacy.

When the CFPB first proposed expanding mortgage data collection to include the very data that industry trade groups have told us is vital for doing this type of analysis — credit scores, debt-to-income ratio, and loan-to-value ratio — those same groups objected. They didn’t want the government to even collect the data, let alone make it public. They cited the risk of a cyberattack, which could reveal borrowers’ private information.

“These new (data) fields include confidential financial data,” several large trade groups wrote in a letter to the CFPB, including the ABA and MBA. “Consequently, if this (sic) data are inadvertently or knowingly released to the public, the harm associated with re-identification would be even greater.”

Government regulators do have access to credit scores. The CFPB analyzed 2019 HMDA data and found that accounting for credit scores does not eliminate lending disparities for people of color.

In addition to finding disparities in loan denials nationally, we examined cities and towns across the country individually and found disparities in 89 metropolitan areas spanning every region of the country. In Charlotte, where Crystal Marie and her family searched for a home, lenders were 50% more likely to deny loans to Black applicants than white ones with similar financial profiles. In other places, the gap was even larger.

Black applicants in Chicago were 150% more likely to be denied by financial institutions than similar white applicants there. Lenders were more than 200% more likely to reject Latino applicants than white applicants in Waco, Texas, and to reject Asian and Pacific Islander applicants than white ones in Port St. Lucie, Florida. And Native American applicants in Minneapolis were 100% more likely to be denied by financial institutions than similar white applicants there.

“It’s something that we have a very painful history with,” said Alderman Matt Martin, who represents Chicago’s 47th Ward.

Crystal Marie McDaniels poses at the bar in her kitchen of her home in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Crystal Marie McDaniels poses at the bar in her kitchen of her home in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, July 9, 2021.
AP

“Redlining,” the now-outlawed practice of branding certain Black and immigrant neighborhoods too risky for financial investments that began in the 1930s, can be traced back to Chicago. Chicago activists exposed that banks were still redlining in the 1970s, leading to the establishment of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the law mandating the collection of data used for this story.

“When you see that maybe the tactics are different now, but the outcomes are substantially similar,” Martin added, “it’s just not something we can continue to tolerate.”

Who makes these loan decisions? Officially, lending officers at each institution. In reality, software, most of it mandated by a pair of quasi-governmental agencies.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were founded by the federal government to spur homeownership and now buy about half of all mortgages in America. If they don’t approve a loan, the lenders are on their own if the borrower skips out.

And that power means Fannie and Freddie essentially set the rules for the industry, starting from the very beginning of the mortgage-approval process.

Fannie and Freddie require lenders to use a particular credit scoring algorithm, “Classic FICO,” to determine whether an applicant meets the minimum threshold necessary to even be considered for a conventional mortgage, currently a score of 620.

This algorithm was developed from data from the 1990s and is more than 15 years old. It’s widely considered detrimental to people of color because it rewards traditional credit, to which white Americans have more access. It does not consider, among other things, on-time payments for rent, utilities, and cellphone bills — but will lower people’s scores if they get behind on them and are sent to debt collectors. Unlike more recent models, it penalizes people for past medical debt even if it’s since been paid.

“This is how structural racism works,” said Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “This is how racism gets embedded into institutions and policies and practices with absolutely no animus at all.”

Potentially fairer credit models have existed for years. A recent study by Vantage Score — a credit model developed by the “Big Three” credit bureaus to compete with FICO — estimated that its model would provide credit to 37 million Americans who have no scores under FICO models. Almost a third of them would be Black or Latino.

Yet Fannie and Freddie have resisted a steady stream of plaintive requests since 2014 from advocates, the mortgage and housing industries, and Congress to update to a newer model. Even the company that created Classic FICO has lobbied for the agencies to adopt a newer version, which it said expands credit to more people.

“A lot of things that minorities and underserved borrowers are doing, responsible financial behaviors, are going under the radar,” said Scott Olson, executive director of CHLA, a trade group representing small and midsized independent mortgage lenders.

Fannie’s and Freddie’s regulator and conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, continues to allow the companies to stick with Classic FICO, more than five years after ordering them to study the effects of switching to something newer. The FHFA has also expressed concern about the “cost and operational implications” if they would have to continually test new credit scoring models.

Neither of the companies would answer questions from The Markup about why they still require Classic FICO.

“They’ve been testing alternate scores for years, and I don’t know why the process is taking so long,” said Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, a consortium of hundreds of fair housing organizations. “Well-deserving consumers are being left behind.”

Fannie’s and Freddie’s approval process also involves other mysterious algorithms: automated underwriting software programs that they first launched in 1995 to much fanfare about their speed, ease and, most important, fairness.

“Using a data base as opposed to human judgment can avoid influences by other forces, such as discrimination against minority individuals and red-lining,” Peter Maselli, then a vice president of Freddie Mac, told The New York Times when it launched its software, now called Loan Product Advisor. A bank executive told Congress that year the new systems were “explicitly and implicitly ‘color blind,’” since they did not consider a person’s race at all in their evaluations.

But, like similar promises that algorithms would make colorblind decisions in criminal risk assessment and health care, research shows that some of the factors Fannie and Freddie say their software programs consider affect people differently depending on their race or ethnicity. These include, in addition to credit histories, the prospective borrowers’ assets, employment status, debts, and the size of the loan relative to the value of the property they’re hoping to buy.

“The quality of the data that you’re putting into the underwriting algorithm is crucial,” said Aracely Panameño, director of Latino affairs for the Center for Responsible Lending. “If the data that you’re putting in is based on historical discrimination, then you’re basically cementing the discrimination at the other end.”

Research has shown that payday loan sellers usually place branches in neighborhoods populated mainly by people of color, where bank branches are less common. As a result, residents are more likely to use these predatory services to borrow money. This creates lopsided, incomplete credit histories because banks report both good and bad financial behavior to credit bureaus, while payday loan services only report missed payments.

Gig workers who are people of color are more likely to report that those jobs are their primary source of income — rather than a side hustle they’re using for extra cash — than white gig workers. Having multiple sources of income or unconventional employment can complicate the verification process for a mortgage, as Crystal Marie and Eskias McDaniels learned.

Considering an applicant’s assets beyond the down payment, which lenders call “reserves,” can cause particular problems for people of color. People with fatter bank accounts present a lower risk because they can more easily weather a setback that would leave others unable to pay the mortgage. But, largely due to intergenerational wealth and past racist policies, the typical white family in America today has eight times the wealth of a typical Black family and five times the wealth of a Latino family. People of color are more likely to have smaller savings accounts and smaller (or nonexistent) stock portfolios than white people.

“This is a relatively new world of automated underwriting engines that by intent may not discriminate but by effect likely do,” said David Stevens, a former president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, now an independent financial consultant.

Not even home valuations are free from controversy. The president of the trade group representing real estate appraisers, who determine property values for loans, recently acknowledged that racial bias is prevalent in the industry and launched new programs to combat it.

“Any type of data that you look at from the financial services space has a high tendency to be highly correlated to race,” said Rice, of the National Fair Housing Alliance.

In written statements, Fannie said its software analyzes applications “without regard to race,” and both Fannie and Freddie said their algorithms are routinely evaluated for compliance with fair lending laws, internally and by the FHFA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD said in an email to The Markup that it has asked the pair to make changes in underwriting criteria as a result of those reviews but would not disclose the details.

“This analysis includes a review to ensure that model inputs are not serving as proxies for race or other protected classes,” Chad Wandler, Freddie’s director of public relations, said in a written statement. He declined to elaborate on what the review entails or how often it’s done.

No one outside Fannie and Freddie knows exactly how the factors in their underwriting software are used or weighted; the formulas are closely held secrets. Not even the companies’ regulator, the FHFA, appears to know, beyond broad strokes, exactly how the software scores applicants, according to Stevens, who served as Federal Housing commissioner and assistant secretary for housing at HUD during the Obama administration.

The Markup’s analysis does not include decisions made by Fannie’s and Freddie’s underwriting algorithms because, while lenders are required to report those decisions to the government, the CFPB scrubs them from public mortgage data, arguing that including them “would likely disclose information about the applicant or borrower that is not otherwise public and may be harmful or sensitive.” Lenders’ ultimate mortgage decisions are public, however. Borrowers’ names are not reported to the government and addresses are not in the public data.

Fannie and Freddie declined to answer our questions about why their algorithms’ decisions are excluded from the public data but said in a 2014 letter to the CFPB that the revelation could allow their decision-making algorithms to be reverse-engineered.

Loan officers say the software’s decisions are mysterious even to them.

“When you run so many deals through the automated system, you’ll look at one deal that didn’t get an approval, and you just know that that’s a better client than someone else that might’ve gotten approved,” said Ashley Thomas III, a broker and owner of LA Top Broker, Inc., a minority-owned real estate agency and brokerage in South Los Angeles. “That lack of transparency in the technology is very concerning.”

The Community Home Lenders Association sent a letter to Fannie and Freddie in April complaining about unannounced changes to both of their underwriting software programs that members discovered when applicants who had previously been approved suddenly were denied.

Scott Olson, executive director of CHLA, said there’s no good reason to keep lenders in the dark: “The more transparent, the more clear the guidance is, the easier it is for borrowers to know what they need to do to be in a position to qualify.”

Earlier this month — and weeks after we began asking about its algorithms — Fannie announced in a news release that it would start incorporating on-time rent payments in its loan approval software starting in mid-September. When we asked about the timing of that change, spokesperson Katie Penote emailed The Markup a statement saying the company wanted prospective borrowers “to have this option as soon as possible” but was silent about what prompted it.

In addition to using Fannie’s or Freddie’s software, many large lenders also run applicants through their institutions’ own underwriting software, which may be more stringent. How those programs work is even more of a mystery; they are also proprietary.

When we examined the reasons lenders listed for denying mortgages in 2019, the most common reason across races and ethnicities, with the exception of Native Americans, was that applicants had too much debt relative to their incomes. When lenders did list “credit history” as the reason for denial, it was cited more often for Black applicants than white ones in 2019: 33% versus 21%.

When we examined the decisions by individual lenders, many denied people of color more than white applicants. An additional statistical analysis showed that several were at least 100% more likely to deny people of color than similar white borrowers. Among them: the mortgage companies owned by nation’s three largest home builders.

The two principal laws forbidding housing and lending discrimination are the 1968 Fair Housing Act and the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act. An alphabet soup of federal agencies can refer evidence of violations of these laws to HUD or the Justice Department for investigation, but referrals have dropped precipitously over the past decade.

Marcia Fudge, who took over HUD leadership earlier this year, told Axios in June that part of the reason Black ownership rates are so low in America is that “we have never totally enforced the Fair Housing Act.” In an email, HUD press secretary Meaghan Lynch told The Markup that Fudge intends to tackle “systemic discrimination in the housing and credit markets that is at the heart of the racial homeownership gap.”

“We do have laws that explicitly protect against discrimination, and yet you still see these disparities that you’re finding, so that suggests that we need better enforcement of existing laws, and more investigations,” said Kevin Stein, deputy director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “Agencies need to do a better job of ferreting out discrimination and taking serious action once they find it.”

Another key housing law, the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977, allows the federal government to penalize lenders who fail to invest in low-income or blighted neighborhoods but makes no requirements regarding borrowers’ race. Stein’s group has lobbied for the law to be reformed.

Crystal Marie McDaniels poses at the bar in her kitchen of her home in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, July 9, 2021.
McDaniels poses at the bar in her kitchen of her home.
AP

Lenders who violate fair lending rules can be punished with fines in the millions of dollars. Rep. Al Green, a Texas Democrat, has sponsored legislation wending its way through Congress that would make it a crime to engage in lending discrimination.

“Banks already have laws that punish people who commit fraud,” he said. “You can be imprisoned for — I hope you have your seatbelt on — 30 years. Why not have some similar law that deals with banks who are invidiously discriminating against people who are trying to borrow money?”

And some fair lending advocates have begun to ask whether the value system in mortgage lending should be tweaked.

“As an industry, we need to think about, what are the less discriminatory alternatives, even if they are a valid predictor of risk,” said David Sanchez, a former Federal Housing Finance Agency policy analyst who currently directs research and development at the nonprofit National Community Stabilization Trust. “Because if we let risk alone govern all of our decisions, we are going to end up in the exact same place we are now when it comes to racial equity in this country.”

Crystal Marie McDaniels said whatever effect race may have had on her denial, it wasn’t overt.

“I’m not sure you ever really know, because there’s no klansmen in our yard or anything — but it’s definitely something we always think about,” she said. “It’s just something that we always understand might be a possibility.”

The lender, loanDepot, denied race had anything to do with the decision. The company’s vice president of communications, Lori Wildrick, said in an email that the company follows the law and expects “fair and equitable treatment” for every applicant. “We take the issues raised by Ms. (McDaniels) very seriously and are conducting a thorough review of her concerns.”

Crystal Marie said buying a house was crucial for her because she wants to pass on wealth to her son someday, giving him an advantage she never had. So when the loan officer told her the deal wasn’t going to happen, she refused to give up.

With the help of their real estate agent, and multiple emails from her employer on her behalf, she and her husband Eskias pushed back against the denial.

Around 8 p.m. on the night before the original closing date, Crystal Marie got an email from the lender: “You’re cleared to close.”

She still doesn’t understand how the lender went from a no to a yes, but she was relieved and elated.

“It means so much to me, as a Black person, to own property in a place where not that many generations ago you were property,” said Crystal Marie, who said she is descended from slaves in neighboring South Carolina.

She said her family has always had a fraught relationship with money. Some relatives were so mistrustful of banks that they’d insisted on dealing only in cash, she said, making it impossible to build up credit or wealth for future generations.

“It’s meant so much,” she said, “that we were able to go through this process and finally, eventually, be successful.”

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Swails’ bio; Book banning; Redistricting update https://perbaccocellars.com/swails-bio-book-banning-redistricting-update/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:55 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1127 STATEHOUSE REPORT |  ISSUE 20.46 |  NOV. 12, 2021 BIG STORY: New Swails bio highlights Reconstruction-era Senate leader NEWS BRIEFS: Hugh Leatherman, powerful Pee Dee senator, passes away LOWCOUNTRY, Ariail  School board meeting COMMENTARY, Brack: Bad idea to ban books and manufacture outrage SPOTLIGHT:  AT&T MY TURN, Teague: House, Senate maps differ on competitive districts […]]]>

STATEHOUSE REPORT |  ISSUE 20.46 |  NOV. 12, 2021

BIG STORY: New Swails bio highlights Reconstruction-era Senate leader
NEWS BRIEFS: Hugh Leatherman, powerful Pee Dee senator, passes away
LOWCOUNTRY, Ariail  School board meeting
COMMENTARY, Brack: Bad idea to ban books and manufacture outrage
SPOTLIGHT:  AT&T
MY TURN, Teague: House, Senate maps differ on competitive districts
FEEDBACK: Guns promoted too loudly
MYSTERY PHOTO: Another white building

NEWS  

New Swails bio highlights Reconstruction-era Senate leader

This portrait of Swails now hangs in the Senate chamber, 13 years after it was approved. Photo provided.

Editor’s Note:  This story, originally published in the Charleston City Paper, follows up on a related Oct. 15 story in Statehouse Report, about a portrait now hanging in the Senate chamber.

By Herb Frazier, Charleston City Paper  |  Four years ago, Civil War historian and Mount Pleasant-based attorney Gordon C. Rhea began an exploration into the life and legacy of a little-known black Civil War hero.

A decade before Rhea’s research of soldier-turn-politician Stephen A. Swails, a private group had commissioned a portrait of Swails for the state South Carolina Senate chamber where he served after the Civil War.

A new book by Charleston lawyer and historian Gordon Rhea is to be published next month by LSU Press.

A 13-year wait to place Swails’ portrait in the Senate recently ended when, after questions from a reporter, it was finally taken out of a closet and mounted in the chamber just in time for Rhea’s latest book. This month the Louisiana State University Press is scheduled to release Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter in the Civil War and Reconstruction.

From 1868 to 1878, Swails represented Williamsburg County in the Senate, including three terms as president pro tempore. He was an attorney and mayor of Kingstree where he published a newspaper, The Williamsburg Republican.

Swails’ political life followed his service in the U.S. Army that began when he joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, composed of mostly free Black men from the north who fought against slavery. Swails was with the unit during a bloody battle on Morris Island near Charleston.

Including his upcoming biography of Swails, Rhea has written eight books on the Civil War. He is best known for his award-winning account of the Overland Campaign, a five-book series that tells the story of three massive battles and dozens of skirmishes in Northern Virginia.

Over a vegetarian burrito at Santi’s on Morrison Drive, Rhea talked about his book with the Charleston City Paper.

City Paper: What did Swails do when he left the military?

Gordon Rhea: Swails worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau in the Kingstree area. He won huge support from the Black population and also from a lot of the white population. He was an arbiter between the freedmen and former masters. The Freedmen’s Bureau helped the newly freed population receive an education, get land to farm and live real lives. Swails mediated disputes. He helped former plantation owners come to terms with the fact that they had to deal with people differently than they had in the past. He handled that in a very smart way.

CP: In your research did you see similarities between today and the Reconstruction period when Swails served in the Statehouse.

GR: At the end of the Civil War obviously slavery was dead. But the predominantly white population of South Carolina and many of the other southern states had as a major goal to restore the situation as close as possible to what it was pre-war.  Fortunately, there was significant intervention by the U.S. government, which set requirements for new elections to be held in which race was not a factor and a new constitution was drawn. Swails was involved in drawing up the new constitution of South Carolina.

CP: As a seasoned Civil War historian, what surprises did you find during your research of Swails.

GR: I was very familiar with the Civil War battles, but I had never delved into the details of Reconstruction. I was astounded at the level of violence as the white population tried to regain total control. I was surprised to learn that the federal government initially supported the African-American population, but then (the government) got tired of spending that kind of money and backed away. So it led to a total abandonment which in many ways encouraged white supremacists in their fight because now they realized there’ll be no more U.S. marshals or federal troops in the state and no more official Washington support for equal rights. The collapse of Reconstruction led to a violent retribution against the black population that led to Jim Crow and to other inequities, many of which persist today.

CP: Describe the level of violence toward Black people during Reconstruction.

GR: The violence of the 1870s was much more targeted. There were targeted assassinations of black leaders and white leaders who sympathized with blacks in South Carolina. Their purpose was to let the black population know if it didn’t stay in line they could be badly injured or killed.

CP: What were the efforts used during Reconstruction to block the black vote?

GR: The white populace viewed themselves as having lost control of the state because so much of the black population was voting. Controlling the ballot box became critical. One thing that’s going on right now is gerrymandering. That went on big time back in Swails’ days. Basically, the white-controlled Senate at the end of Reconstruction reconfigured judicial districts and put most of the Black people into one district so that all the other districts would be predominantly white.

CP: Any other surprises or lessons learned?

GR: I was surprised how someone like Stephen Swails was able to maneuver through the intricacies of the political process to walk and talk with both sides. He was selected as the speaker pro tempore in the South Carolina Senate and held that position throughout Reconstruction. So he was the top man. He was putting the deals together. He was trying to make things work.

CP: What person today has Swails-like qualities?

GR: I think Congressman James Clyburn has a lot of those same attributes. He knows how to fight for his constituency, but at the same time, he knows the importance of making compromises, making deals that move the ball in the right direction.

NEWS BRIEFS  

Hugh Leatherman, powerful Pee Dee senator, passes away

Leatherman at a Francis Marion University event.  Photo courtesy Florence Morning News.

Staff reports  |  S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman, the powerful Florence Republican who chaired the Senate Finance Committee, died at home early today after a long battle with cancer.  About three weeks ago following surgery for abdominal pain, an aggressive cancer was found.  He then started receiving hospice care at home.

“Colleagues described him as among the last of the Senate’s old guard statesmen, who strove to keep debates civil and collegial as he remained focused on proposals he thought would bring jobs to South Carolina and help the working class,” The Post and Courier reported. “He could be an unflinching advocate or hard-nosed foe, though his stances were rarely rooted in partisan politics.”

Leatherman, 90, started his political career as a Democrat when first elected to the legislature in 1981.  He later switched parties and for years chaired the Senate Finance Committee, one of two legislative committees that controls the state’s purse strings.

Through the years, Leatherman helped to direct state spending, economic development projects and infrastructure deals.  Examples include luring Boeing to the state to make jets and greatly improving infrastructure at the S.C. State Ports Authority,  where a new port terminal is named for him in North Charleston.

Leatherman worked with both parties, often in a pivotal peacemaking role, to hammer out deals in the Senate and with the House of Representatives.

“I’m actually glad he did switch parties, because if he had not, somebody else would have been in that position as chairman of Finance, other than Hugh Leatherman,” state Democratic Sen. Darrell Jackson of Columbia said. “And I’m not sure that would have worked out as well for South Carolina.”

The Senate’s current president, Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, is next in line to chair the Senate Finance Committee.

In other recent news:

House redistricting plan ruffles feathers.  While the Senate’s redistricting plan advanced out of committee with ease, the House’s plan has drawn bipartisan criticism that it discouraged competition, divided communities of interest, and did not allow sufficient time for informed public comment. More: The Post and Courier  |  AP News.

Bond denied again for prominent attorney Murdaugh.  Alex Murdaugh will likely remain in jail for many months while awaiting trial on charges of insurance fraud connected to the death of a housekeeper. Murdaugh’s wife and son were found shot to death at their family estate earlier this year, and Murdaugh is facing multiple cases claiming he stole from his law firm, stole insurance money from the heirs of a dead housekeeper, and sought to defraud insurance by trying to have an acquaintance shoot and kill him.

S.C. lawmaker looks at Texas-style abortion law. S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, has called a controversial Texas abortion law, which allows private citizens to sue abortion providers, “a very novel approach,” hinting at a possible S.C. adaptation.  More: The State.

S.C. School Boards Association pulls from national group. The South Carolina School Boards Association officially cut ties with its national counterpart on Nov. 8 after a controversial letter calling for federal authorities to deal with aggression and intimidation at school board meetings.  More: The Post and Courier.

S.C. economy didn’t slow as state sees $1 billion surplus.  The amount of money in South Carolina’s state bank accounts continues to grow thanks to a quick recovery from the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and people spending money much faster than experts predicted.  Previously reported in Statehouse Report.

State’s murder, assault rates rise.  South Carolina’s murder rate increased by more than 52 percent in the last five years, according to new state crime numbers. The report highlights that statewide murders increased from 452 in 2019 to 552 in 2020. “The report also noted 2020 brought the highest aggravated assault rate since 2011. It said 42.8 of every 10,000 S.C. residents in 2020 were victims of aggravated assault, as opposed to 45.8 in 2011.” More: The State  |  WYFF.

SC for Ed survey finds ‘potentially broken’ school system.  A survey released by teacher advocacy group SC for Ed says public school staffing woes have been known for years and yet few actions have been made. The survey found that 38 percent of teachers planned to leave their current positions. In a related report in Charleston County, responses to a survey from 853 educators in the Charleston County School District detail a bleak education experience on both sides of the teacher’s desk.

LOWCOUNTRY, by Robert Ariail

School board meeting

Cartoonist Robert Ariail always has an interesting take on what’s going on in South Carolina.  His weekly “Lowcountry” strip is originally drawn for our sister publication, the Charleston City Paper.  Love the cartoon?  Hate it?  What do you think:  feedback@statehousereport.com.   

COMMENTARY   

Bad idea to ban books and manufacture outrage

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |   With the 2022 political season right around the corner, it’s wholly predictable that it’s time for some kind of manufactured moral outrage by a Republican candidate to whip the troops in line.

This has been going on by both sides for years, as noted years ago by critic H.L. Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

This week, Gov. Henry McMaster called for an immediate investigation at all of the state’s public schools into whether they had “obscene and pornographic materials.” He also ordered state police to probe whether any state laws had been broken.

Seems some parents in Fort Mill complained about a book titled Gender Queer: A Memoir, written by award-winning new author Maia Kobabe.  The State newspaper reported the book is an autobiography “about how Kobabe dealt with being nonbinary while growing up.” But according to McMaster, it includes “sexually explicit and pornographic depictions which easily meet or exceed the statutory definition of obscenity.”  That’s remarkably similar to what conservatives in other states have been saying for more than a month as they railed to get the book banned. 

A reality check: By drawing attention to the book in the age of Amazon, the author probably now will sell more books here in little old South Carolina.  Why? Because people — high school students, in particular — don’t like being told what to do.  And if they can’t get a book in one place, they’ll find it some other place, including paying $16 to get it delivered.

A cynic might ask, “So what’s really going on here?” Let’s look at the political map.  In a few months, the Republican Party will have its primary.  On the ballot, again, will be McMaster, who counts on Christian conservatives as a big base of support.  Meanwhile, it’s likely an Upstate challenger will emerge.  So what’s a veteran candidate to do?  Whip up a moral crisis to reacquaint Upstate voters with his moral fiber.

It’s not inconceivable McMaster’s political handlers have been lying in wait for just the right book, movie, speech, snub or slip of the tongue to use politically to energize base supporters.  When they learned about Kobabe’s book being banned by a Virginia county school board and later challenged at schools in several states, they sprang. 

While McMaster and supporters might get all hot and bothered about the issue, it’s never a good idea to ban a book.  Trying to get rid of printed words and cartoons doesn’t get rid of ideas.  You might not like what someone says, but what if someone wants to get rid of the words you use and write?  Wouldn’t you cry, “Freedom of speech?” 

Furthermore, banning a book or stomping on an idea you don’t like is in your frame of reference.  It doesn’t take into account the perspective of others.  The audience for the book isn’t the devout Christian in Greenville, but perhaps someone living in that home who is questioning God, religion, gender or something else.

Listen to what Kobabe wrote in an Oct. 29 opinion piece in The Washington Post:  “Queer youth are often forced to look outside their own homes, and outside the education system, to find information on who they are. Removing or restricting queer books in libraries and schools is like cutting a lifeline for queer youth, who might not yet even know what terms to ask Google to find out more about their own identities, bodies and health.”

Let’s engage in politics over real ideas that make real differences in people’s lives — better education, better health care, improved roads, a cleaner South Carolina, more jobs, less poverty.  Let’s not keep riding the downward spiral of moral outrage, fear and divisiveness.

P.S. Gender Queer is a “#1 Best Seller” right now on Amazon.  Go figure.

SPOTLIGHT

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MY TURN

House, Senate maps differ on competitive districts

The proposed Senate map.

By Lynn S. Teague, League of Women Voters  |  The process of redrawing South Carolina’s legislative maps kicked into gear with the Aug. 12 release of U. S. Census data. Since then, there have been public hearings, committee meetings, public map submissions and much more. 

Now three months later, the Senate has released its staff proposal for Senate districts and the House has released its draft plan for House districts. Both have a long way to go (through Judiciary committees and floor votes and the governor’s signature) before they are final. 

Any redistricting map must respond to the changing population of our state. There is very rapid growth in the suburbs south of Charlotte and even greater growth along the coast, especially in Horry County, but also in and around Charleston. Other areas increased in population but not so quickly. Finally, the Interstate 95 corridor has lost population. This has many implications, but for purposes of redistricting, it means that political power shifts with population. 

How this is handled is important to all of us. There are strategies for map drawing that are focused on the interests of the residents of our state, and others that are focused on the interests of legislators. The League’s own maps and its assessment of other plans are based on the belief that the interests of constituents, not legislators, should prevail. 

Senate map reveals little gerrymandering bias

From that perspective, the initial Senate proposal has much to recommend it. The Senate map provides as many competitive districts as does the League map. Very few precincts are split, a practice that is sometimes needed but is too often related to cherry-picking voters to engineer a district for a candidate or party. The Senate plan also reduces expected average election margins below those in current districts, suggesting that district homogeneity has not been inflated to produce forbiddingly large “safe” margins for incumbents. Finally, sophisticated mathematical tests for gerrymandering do not reveal evidence of significant bias.

There are other variables to consider. Keeping communities of interest and political subdivisions together are important. In the Senate plan, some cities have been made whole. Spartanburg, for example, would cease to be divided among three senators. Mount Pleasant is not so fortunate. 

Our greatest concern about the Senate map relates to its handling of the changing landscape of the Lowcountry. With its current population, District 39 may continue to provide minorities an opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice, but it is drawn with a relatively low 39 percent Black Voting Age Population (BVAP). That could change quickly. The district includes areas in Berkeley County, including Nexton, Carnes Crossroads and Cane Bay, where population growth is both rapid and very different in character from the rural core of the rest of the district.

Broader concerns about House map

League concerns about the map proposed by the House Redistricting Committee are broader. We recognize that the population in our state is not evenly distributed so that many districts will not be competitive in general elections. However based on our data, the draft House map produces only 12 districts in which the partisan lean margin is plus-or-minus 5 percent, which is considered competitive. This is four districts fewer than in the current map and seven districts fewer than in the League proposal. Noncompetitive districts deprive citizens of a meaningful vote. Legislators have picked their voters, leaving nothing meaningful for the voters to do at the polls in November. With more than 41,000 persons in each House district, seven  non-competitive districts add up to more than a quarter million extra South Carolina residents whose representation is decided by legislators, not voters. 

This map also fails to respect genuine and important communities of interest. James Island, for example, is thoroughly fragmented. The districts that converge there are oddly configured, for example with District 110 linking one James Island fragment with part of Mount Pleasant. The map submitted by the League shows that it is possible to map this area with more compact districts and with greater adherence to political subdivisions and communities of interest.

Finally, analysis using widely accepted redistricting mathematical evaluation methods shows that the House map displays extreme bias. Of about one billion maps that were simulated, only 1,410 were more extreme than the House proposal. This contrasts with a far greater 83,777,304 maps in the simulation that are more extreme than the League proposal. The map submitted by the League of Women Voters can be considered a benchmark for what can be expected as a product of the underlying demographics of our state. We find that there is a painfully wide gap between the naturally occurring effects of population distributions in the League map and the extreme bias of the House plan. 

The League encourages everyone who is interested to visit www.lwvsc.org where we post a wide range of redistricting information and updates. Having done that, tell your House and Senate members what you hope for when they shape our politics for the decade to come. 

Columbia resident Lynn Teague  is vice president for issues and action for the League of Women Voters of South Carolina.  Have a comment? Send to:  feedback@statehousereport.com.

FEEDBACK

Guns promoted too loudly

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing your commentary. I have always abhorred the TV ads that this  gun shop uses and thought surely there must be some actual FCC regulations against such promotion. Their manner of advertising  preys on the public as much as advertising for payday loans

Why are guns being promoted so loudly  here in the Charleston area where gun violence with stolen and illegal guns is  more  common daily ? Methinks it is something  more than making a profit!

— Freida McDuffie, Charleston, S.C.

Send us your thoughts

We receive a few comments a week and look forward to publishing. But often we can’t because we can’t verify the identity of the writer.   To be published, you’ve got to provide us with contact information so we can verify your letters. Verified letters to the editor are published weekly. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Comments are limited to 250 words or less.  Please include your name and contact information.

MYSTERY PHOTO

Another white building

Here’s another white building in South Carolina to identify. Send your guess to feedback@statehousereport.com — and remember to include your name, home city and contact information. 

Last week’s mystery, “White building,” showed a photo of the Laurens County Courthouse.  

Congratulations to readers who identified it:  Steve Willis of Lancaster; Kevin Mertens of Greenville; Jacie Godfrey and Barry Wingard, both of Florence; Bill Segars of Hartsville; George Graf of Palmyra, Va.; Elizabeth Jones and Jay Altman, both of Columbia; Allan Peel of San Antonio, Texas; and Frank Bouknight of Summerville.

Segars shared that the photo was “of the 1838 Laurens County Courthouse.  The original Greek Revival building was designed by Thomas C. Veal and built by Dr. John Wells Simpson. A 1911 addition was designed by Anthony Ten Eyck Brown, Luther D. Proffitt and Martin Luther Hampton.”

Peel added, “The Confederate statue that is visible in the mystery photo was erected “In Memory of The Boys in Gray” in 1910 by the Citizens of Laurens County and the Joseph Brevard Kershaw Chapter, U.D.C. Some additional historical information, background, and historic photos of this site can be viewed here.”

Lupo shared that the Library of Congress includes this photo (1890-1910) of a crowd in front of the courthouse.

  • Send us a mystery. If you have a photo that you believe will stump readers, send it along (but  make sure to tell us what it is because it may stump us too!)  Send to:  feedback@statehousereport.com and mark it as a photo submission.  Thanks.

350 FACTS

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]]>
Monday, February 7, 2022 | Kaiser Health News https://perbaccocellars.com/monday-february-7-2022-kaiser-health-news/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:50 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1133 900,000 Americans Already Lost With Covid Deaths On The Rise As the nation passed this terrible milestone, President Joe Biden on Friday urged the unvaccinated to reconsider and estimated that over 1 million American lives have been saved by the covid vaccines. The Washington Post: Biden Marks 900,000 Covid-19 Deaths And Urges: ‘Get Vaccinated, Get […]]]>


900,000 Americans Already Lost With Covid Deaths On The Rise

As the nation passed this terrible milestone, President Joe Biden on Friday urged the unvaccinated to reconsider and estimated that over 1 million American lives have been saved by the covid vaccines.


The Washington Post:
Biden Marks 900,000 Covid-19 Deaths And Urges: ‘Get Vaccinated, Get Your Kids Vaccinated’

President Biden on Friday urged all Americans to get vaccinated, as he marked another “tragic milestone” in the coronavirus pandemic. “900,000 American lives have been lost to COVID-19,” he said in a late-night statement issued Friday. “They were beloved mothers and fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends. ”The death toll would have been higher without coronavirus vaccines, Biden said, estimating they had “saved more than one million American lives,” as he urged unvaccinated Americans to “get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get your booster shot if you are eligible.” (Timsit, 2/5)


The New York Times:
U.S. Covid Death Toll Surpasses 900,000 As Omicron’s Spread Slows 

More than 2,600 Americans are dying from Covid-19 each day, an alarming rate that has climbed by 30 percent in the past two weeks. Across the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has now claimed more than 900,000 lives. Yet another, simultaneous reality of the pandemic offers reason for hope. The number of new coronavirus infections is plummeting, falling by more than half since mid-January. Hospitalizations are also declining, a relief to stressed health care workers who have been treating desperately ill coronavirus patients for nearly two years. (Bosman and Smith, 2/4)


CNN:
US Reports More Than 900,000 Total Covid-19 Deaths

Experts believe the true burden of disease to be much higher. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of Covid-19 deaths in the US was about 32% higher than reported between February 2020 and September 2021. (McPhillips, 2/4)


NBC News:
900,000 Dead: Covid Deaths Are Surging In Low-Vaccination States

The country has recorded 100,000 deaths since Dec. 13. During that period, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania have the largest number of deaths when adjusted for population. Of those states, Pennsylvania is the only one to have fully vaccinated more than 60 percent of its population. “Fully vaccinated” means that at least two weeks have passed since a person has received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. (Chiwaya, 2/4)


More Health Care Hiring In January, Despite Omicron

An estimated 18,000 health care jobs were added in January, up from December’s 14,300 total, even as omicron covid hospitalizations soared. Separately, hospital executives say that recruitment and staff retention is their top priority.


Modern Healthcare:
Healthcare Hiring Ramped Up In January Even As Omicron Raged

Healthcare employment was more resilient than expected in January as companies picked up hiring even as COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record high. Healthcare companies added an estimated 18,000 jobs in the first month of 2022, up from 14,300 in December, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Friday. The industry’s strong showing contributed to 467,000 new jobs recorded across the economy, which was far more than economists projected. (Bannow, 2/4)


Modern Healthcare:
Recruitment And Retention Is The Top Priority, Hospital Execs Say

UW Health recently had 3,600 nursing shifts to fill over a six-week period. The integrated health system, like so many across country, has turned to staffing agencies to fill workforce gaps. But that created friction between its in-house staff and travel nurses, who are often being paid at least twice as much. On Jan. 16, UW Health implemented a new program for its around 3,400 nurses to ease some of that tension, offering a $100 hourly bonus for nurses who add a 12-hour shift to their normal weekly schedule. The Madison-based system filled 92% of its open shifts within of a week of the program’s announcement. (Kacik, 2/4)

In related news about health care workers —


The Baltimore Sun:
Programs In Maryland Aim To Attract And Keep The ‘Starry-Eyed’ Among Nurses Amid Bruising Pandemic 

Sophia Rois Geffen was working in public health when she decided to train as a nurse so she could connect more closely with people. With graduation from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing about six months away, she and other fellow Hopkins nursing students realized most patients won’t see their faces, masked against the persistent coronavirus. It’s one of the many ways the landscape has changed and challenged nurses in the past two years. But it’s not deterring Geffen and her classmates from running headlong into a pandemic that pushed many experienced professionals to the exits and created a massive shortage of nurses nationwide. “We all came in pretty starry-eyed,” she said. “Now, we understand it’s a challenging time just to be in the profession.” (Cohn, 2/7)


Detroit Free Press:
Whitmer Proposes $3 Billion Extra For Front-Line Workers, Police, Other ‘Heroes’

Michiganders working in elementary school classrooms, at grocery store checkout lines, driving city buses and serving in any number of other vital jobs amid the ongoing pandemic may be in line for a payday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will propose $500 million in one-time “hero pay” benefits intended for a yet-undefined group of Michigan workers and $50 million for similar payments to law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders and correctional officers. That is in addition to $1.65 billion for teacher and school staff retention, first reported Sunday by the Free Press, she will propose when she presents her 2023 budget recommendations this week to state lawmakers along with extra billions to be spent in the current financial year. (Boucher, 2/7)


Dallas Morning News:
Hospitals Are Relying More On Expensive Travel Nurses In A Cycle That Has No End In Sight

Travel nurses make more on average than most nurses employed full-time at hospitals, as travel nurse agencies charge high premiums to fill staffing holes. Many nurses are leaving full-time positions for more lucrative travel jobs, opening even more positions for hospitals to fill. With every new opening, travel agencies are able to hike up their rates. However, hospitals don’t blame travel nurses on their increased supplemental staffing expenses, Love said.
“For the nurses that enter the workforce and go to be traveling nurses, we’re certainly not being critical of them in any way,” he said. “We understand. They have to look at their own individual situation and make their best choice.” (Wolf, 2/7)


CBS News:
Staff Shortages, COVID Patients Pushing Hospitals To Breaking Point 

In much of the country, the number of COVID cases is falling. The Omicron variant may result in less severe illness, but inside many of the country’s hospitals, the work is more demanding than ever. That’s largely because – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – nearly 400,000 health care workers have left since the start of the pandemic. Last month, hospitals in 18 states reported critical staff shortages. (Alfonsi, 2/6)


Bloomberg:
U.S. Troops Reinforce Hospitals In Covid’s Battle Of Attrition

University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, is besieged with Covid patients packing its intensive-care unit, where rooms have been improvised from plastic sheeting and staff have fallen victim to the disease. The U.S. Army is reinforcing its defenses. Captain Jamie Dowd, a nurse who has treated ghastly trauma in Syria and Iraq, was sent to the hospital on a 30-day mission with 24 other troops to help fight the worst wave of Covid-19 cases since the deadly spring of 2020. Plucked from Fort Polk in Louisiana, Dowd last week peered out from the shadows of a room in the Newark progressive-care unit. (Griffin, 2/4)


KHN:
Bounties And Bonuses Leave Small Hospitals Behind In Staffing Wars 

A recent lawsuit filed by one Wisconsin health system that temporarily prevented seven workers from starting new jobs at a different health network raised eyebrows, including those of Brock Slabach, chief operations officer of the National Rural Health Association. “To me, that signifies the desperation that hospital leaders are facing in trying to staff their hospitals,” said Slabach. His concern is for the smaller facilities that lack the resources to compete. (Sable-Smith, 2/7)

Also —


The Baltimore Sun:
‘A Target On My Back:’ Baltimore County Health Officer Backs Bill Criminalizing Threats Against Health Officials 

Baltimore County health department employees are being harassed regularly as they try to perform their duties, according to the county’s top health official, who on Friday urged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would criminalize threats against public health employees. “We’re being threatened, we’re being harassed and we’re being intimidated,” Baltimore County’s public health officer Dr. Gregory Branch told county representatives during a House delegation meeting Friday. The legislation — sponsored by Del. Karen Lewis Young of Frederick County and several Democratic House and Senate lawmakers from Baltimore, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — would make it a misdemeanor to threaten public health employees and hospital staff members with the intent to intimidate or interfere with their ability to work. (Deville, 2/4)


NBC News:
These Health Care Workers Say They Were Fired After Raising Safety Concerns

Marian Weber says she wanted to make Ketchikan, Alaska, her forever home. With its widespread greenery and rainy days, and waterfront crowded by houses, it was a long-awaited dream. And staying for good seemed like a real possibility. Weber, 47, was a travel nurse contracted to work at the city-owned Ketchikan Hospital, run by PeaceHealth, a not-for-profit health care system. She says she arrived in April 2021, and the hospital renewed her contract in August before promptly terminating it within the same month. (Lee, 2/6)


Florida Fights Back Against Turning Over Daily Covid Data

A lawsuit alleges the state Department of Health violated public records laws by turning down requests for daily covid figures.


News Service of Florida:
Florida Files An Appeal Over Turning Down Requests For Daily COVID-19 Data 

The Florida Department of Health has gone to an appeals court in a battle about whether it should provide daily COVID-19 data, as it seeks to be shielded from explaining officials’ decision-making about releasing the information. Attorneys for the department filed a petition late Wednesday at the 1st District Court of Appeal as part of a lawsuit filed in August by the Florida Center for Government Accountability and state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and later joined by several media organizations. The underlying lawsuit alleges the Department of Health violated public records laws by turning down requests for daily COVID-19 data. The data, in part, would have provided county and demographic information about COVID-19 cases. (Saunders, 2/4)

In other news about the spread of covid —


Texas Tribune:
Texas COVID-19 Hospitalizations Down As Omicron Wave Appears To Crest

After an anxious January marked by a wave of COVID-19 infections that pushed Texas hospitals and intensive care units to their limits, the number of Texans in the hospital with COVID-19 across the state has been in a steady decline for over a week, according to state health data. The decrease is the latest in a series of hopeful signs that the surge driven by the highly contagious omicron variant may be starting to abate, forecasters and health officials say. If the trend continues, the state would have passed its peak hospitalizations for this wave on Jan. 20, when Texas hospitals reported 13,371 patients with COVID-19 — a number that has decreased daily since then. That falls short of the record 14,218 hospitalizations the state saw a year ago on Jan. 11, 2021. (Brooks Harper, Essig and Luis Martínez, 2/6)


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wisconsin Officials Think COVID Cases Will Keep Falling Despite Subvariant

State health officials are “optimistic” that COVID-19 cases will continue to decline despite the emergence of a subvariant of omicron believed to spread more easily than the original form of omicron. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said during a media briefing Thursday that it is still unclear what the implications of the subvariant, known as BA.2, will be. It was first detected in Wisconsin last month and still represents a tiny fraction of COVID-19 cases in the state. Despite the subvariant being more contagious, he said he is “optimistic” the omicron surge will continue to subside. (Volpenhein, 2/4)


Detroit Free Press:
Michigan Surpasses 2 Million COVID-19 Cases

The Michigan health department reported 9,805 new COVID-19 cases over a two-day period Friday, an average of 4,903 per day, bringing Michigan to 2,009,221 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic.Another 209 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported Friday, 155 of which were identified in a regular vital records review. This increases the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 30,379. (Marini, 2/4)

Also —


CIDRAP:
New Conditions Common 1 To 5 Months After Positive COVID Test 

A cohort study of Americans tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection shows that new-onset shortness of breath, heart rhythm abnormalities, and type 2 diabetes were more common 31 to 150 days after testing positive for COVID-19 than among those with negative results. The research was published today in JAMA Network Open. (Van Beusekom, 2/4)


Albany Times Union:
After 130 Days In The Hospital, A New York COVID-19 Patient Finally Gets To Go Home

Tommy Raus arrived home Friday morning. That’s a major accomplishment, considering that on Sept. 13, 2021 he began a harrowing COVID-19 journey that saw him face death numerous times during a 130-day stay at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. The 47-year-old Raus went from being unable to breathe on his own or even move his toes in the hospital as his health collapsed to where he is now moving and talking and settling into completing his recovery at home with visits from nurses and therapists. “I’m on oxygen now. I was in such bad pain,” Raus said in a telephone interview Thursday from Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady where he spent 14 days after leaving St. Peter’s. “It’s just so hard to deal with this.” (Crowe II, 2/6)


ABC News:
Parents Name Baby Boy After Doctor Who Treated Mom For COVID-19 

A couple in Texas have paid the ultimate tribute to a doctor who went above and beyond to help their family last year. Diana Crouch, 28, and Chris Crouch, 37, welcomed a baby boy last November and named him Cameron, after one of Diana’s doctors. The couple credit Dr. Cameron Dezfulian, the medical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease, ICU unit at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, with helping to save both Diana and Cameron’s lives. (2/7)


The New York Times:
2 Men In Miami Sentenced For Stealing 192 Ventilators Bound For El Salvador 

Two men in Miami have each been sentenced to 41 months in prison for stealing medical ventilators bound for a Covid-19 care facility in El Salvador as part of a U.S. aid program, federal authorities in Florida said on Friday. The crime occurred in August 2020, according to a news release issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of Florida after the sentencing of the second of the two men. (Medina, 2/5)

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Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it? https://perbaccocellars.com/tampa-bay-has-huge-flood-risk-what-should-we-do-about-it/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:42 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1136 Thousands of years ago, researchers say, the people who lived in what we now call Florida had to accommodate rising seas. They responded, excavations suggest, by retreating. Kenneth Sassaman, a University of Florida archaeologist, has theorized that some even picked up and reburied the bones of their ancestors. This ancient problem is not so different […]]]>

Thousands of years ago, researchers say, the people who lived in what we now call Florida had to accommodate rising seas.

They responded, excavations suggest, by retreating. Kenneth Sassaman, a University of Florida archaeologist, has theorized that some even picked up and reburied the bones of their ancestors.

This ancient problem is not so different from the conundrum Floridians face today, he thinks. It shows that nature is always in control, but people can adapt.

“The challenge we face today, though, is you just can’t pick up a city and move it,” said Andrea Dutton, a geoscience professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The world’s oceans are rising at an accelerating rate. Humans are quickly making the Earth hotter by burning fossil fuels, which puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Tampa Bay is already prone to storm surge flooding, a threat that sea level rise is only making worse.

So what should we do?

The only logical approach, experts say, is to study the risk and react.

Rising Threat: Neighborhood risk map

Search any Tampa Bay address to look up how many nearby buildings could flood from hurricanes.

Why should I worry about a flood that might happen many years from now?

Quite simply, because our investments — public and private — are supposed to last. If someone buys a house, they are likely taking on a 30-year mortgage.

The same goes for the roads and bridges we drive on or the pipes attached to our toilets and sinks. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to build something intended to last 75 years that washes out in 40.

Karen Love sweeps out water from inside the More Bazaar store in Gulfport the morning after Tropical Storm Eta in November 2020. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]

Florida has always suffered floods. We know how to deal with this, right?

Flooding exacerbated by climate change is a uniquely tricky problem.

Cities and counties run on tight budgets. Compared to priorities like scarce affordable housing, overcrowded jails or pothole-riddled streets, future flooding may seem less pressing — and its solutions less visible — to both politicians and the residents who vote them in or out of office.

The solutions are not cheap, either. In South Florida, further along on planning than anywhere else in the state, consultants for a regional climate change compact estimated it will take billions of dollars to build defenses for vulnerable cities, like raising structures and seawalls.

Related: Own or rent a home in flood-prone Florida? Here’s some advice.

The investment would probably be wise. Looking at federal grants, researchers have estimated every $1 spent to head off disasters today saves $6 in the long run.

But coming up with the money is already hard and could get harder. Some experts have suggested climate change could lead to a drop in home values near the water, but whether — or when — that will happen widely remains unclear. A recent report from Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit that tracks state government spending, warned that lenders will be less willing to offer 30-year mortgages for risky properties.

Water pools on W. Maritana Drive in St. Pete Beach, where work on drainage improvements was ongoing last fall.
Water pools on W. Maritana Drive in St. Pete Beach, where work on drainage improvements was ongoing last fall. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Local governments rely on property tax revenue, and public coffers will dwindle if the value of coastal buildings drops. Florida TaxWatch cautioned that the state could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes over the coming decades, while businesses stall and infrastructure is destroyed by flooding.

Bond rating agencies like Moody’s also are beginning to figure out climate risk. If vulnerability one day triggers lower bond ratings, it could become more expensive for governments to borrow money for flood-mitigation projects.

Related: Read the entire Rising Threat series

Florida TaxWatch recommended that leaders across the state explore several options, including cutting emissions, building to tougher standards in some places and retreating in others.

“It will be expensive, but the costs of inaction will be much greater,” the nonprofit’s report said. “Perhaps the most important first step is to stop making the problem worse.”

Visitors to Clearwater Beach wade in the shallow tide south of Pier 60 in June 2019.
Visitors to Clearwater Beach wade in the shallow tide south of Pier 60 in June 2019. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Can we build our way out of this problem?

Unlikely.

Building up only parts of a neighborhood creates other issues. Leaders have elevated roads higher than surrounding properties in Miami Beach. Some owners sued, according to the Miami Herald, saying their buildings flooded from water that previously drained to the street during storms.

Floridians have long defied nature by damming, draining and diverting water.

“The traditional way of dealing with water has been to engineer around it,” said Laura Lightbody, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts Flood-Prepared Communities project. “Now, with all of the data that we have and the increased flood risk, we have to be planning with water versus engineering our way out of it.”

Already, officials are using federal dollars to buy and demolish homes that have flooded in the Florida Keys.

Workers finish an elevated waterfront home last fall overlooking Pass-A-Grille Channel near the mouth of Tampa Bay.
Workers finish an elevated waterfront home last fall overlooking Pass-A-Grille Channel near the mouth of Tampa Bay. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Why do we continue to build on the coast?

It’s lucrative because people dream of living there.

Developers can raise new buildings with sparkling views and make a quick payday. Cities benefit from the expanded tax base.

Thomas Ruppert, a coastal planning specialist with Florida Sea Grant, an education and research group that works with government agencies, said builders have the luxury of perhaps a five-year horizon to finish their work, giving them better odds of getting out before a flood.

But the threat does not go away.

“Who’s left with the long-term risk?” Ruppert said. Owners, banks, governments. “It’s the privatization of profits and the socialization of risks and costs.”

Sea level rise is such a major challenge, he said, that it may force leaders in Florida to reconsider even basic concepts relating to property, development and risk — including who shoulders the cost of vulnerability long-term and how.

What’s the difference between sea level rise and storm surge?

Sea level rise is incremental. Water levels have risen by fractions of an inch each year as global warming melts ice sheets and expands seawater, according to the National Ocean Service. Scientists say the Earth is locked into more warming because people burn fossil fuels. Research shows sea level rise could continue to pick up pace.

Higher water causes flooding. In Florida, it doesn’t only flow over seawalls but through the peninsula’s porous crust. Low-lying parts of Tampa Bay occasionally experience flooding on sunny days during peak tides, but it will take years for that phenomenon to become more widespread and frequent.

High winds and waves from Tropical Storm Eta buffet Bayshore Boulevard in November 2020.
High winds and waves from Tropical Storm Eta buffet Bayshore Boulevard in November 2020. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]

Storm surge is sudden and temporary, a result of hurricanes and tropical storms. Sea level rise makes the surge worse by escalating water levels. The resulting flood is like a fast-forward button, revealing places that could be soaked even by normal tides in the future.

Will people have to move?

Retreat is usually a last resort. Most governments are not seriously discussing the concept. People still pay millions of dollars for waterfront homes.

One testing ground is Satellite Beach, population just over 11,000, sandwiched between the Banana River and Atlantic Ocean. Water during Hurricane Irma in 2017 flooded the street outside the city’s fire station.

A canal channels water under S Patrick Drive at Cassia Boulevard in Satellite Beach in December 2019. The city's fire station sits in the background.
A canal channels water under S Patrick Drive at Cassia Boulevard in Satellite Beach in December 2019. The city’s fire station sits in the background. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Satellite Beach is moving the station and public works department to a spot inland that computer models show is less likely to flood.

City Manager Courtney Barker said both departments were due for an upgrade anyway.

“When you’re going to construct a new building, you want it to be there 50 years, otherwise it’s a waste of money,” she said.

Grounds supervisor John Heer, left, lubricated a brush cutter, while Andrew Robichaud, center, and Brad Elam repaired a tractor at the Satellite Beach Public Works building in December 2019.
Grounds supervisor John Heer, left, lubricated a brush cutter, while Andrew Robichaud, center, and Brad Elam repaired a tractor at the Satellite Beach Public Works building in December 2019. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Years ago, leaders in Satellite Beach commissioned the kind of vulnerability studies that other municipalities are only now pursuing. Barker said city leaders used to feel confident they would easily get the money whenever they applied for a grant. But now competition has picked up.

“Back in 2009, I think we got made fun of more than anything else,” she said. “Now we’re invited a lot to talk about our experiences.”

The city’s past studies have shown sea level rise alone will not imperil most homes for decades, but higher water levels with storm surge are already a danger. Residents assumed the Atlantic Ocean was their biggest threat, but models show neighborhoods closer to the Banana River are under the greatest risk.

The Banana River borders the western edge of Satellite Beach. Studies show neighborhoods in this area, on the Intracoastal Waterway and not the Atlantic Ocean, have the greatest risk of flooding.
The Banana River borders the western edge of Satellite Beach. Studies show neighborhoods in this area, on the Intracoastal Waterway and not the Atlantic Ocean, have the greatest risk of flooding. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Satellite Beach increased its stormwater fee, forcing the tax collector to change a computer program to accept three-digit numbers. It moved setback lines to the middle of existing properties. Homeowners might not be able to rebuild the same way if a storm wipes them out. Some made a legal challenge but later withdrew.

“I’m sorry, but we’re not taking your property,” Barker said. “The ocean is.”

Lawyers in Satellite Beach are drafting paperwork the city hopes to give to anyone requesting a future building permit. It will explain data showing increased flood risk. Barker said she wants people to understand what they are getting into, because too many assume securing a permit means they’re safe, when the city has little option but to approve applications that follow existing rules.

That does not mean she wants people to leave her hometown, where a decorative shorebird and sea turtle adorn the welcome signs and windsurfers slice through the waves at sunset. Barker believes Satellite Beach can organize itself around higher ground and better drainage.

“There will be 2 feet of water in my living room before I leave,” she said.

The Florida coastal city of Satellite Beach has been at the vanguard of climate change planning.
The Florida coastal city of Satellite Beach has been at the vanguard of climate change planning. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

What are Tampa Bay governments doing?

Some local cities and counties formed a resiliency coalition in 2018, nearly a decade after governments in Southeast Florida led the way. Fast-growing Pasco County initially did not join because a commissioner said he did not believe humans caused global warming. The county later reversed course.

Over the past few years, governments from big to small have taken steps toward preparedness. Tampa and Pinellas County hired coordinators to lead climate change and sustainability projects. St. Petersburg employs a sustainability director. An advisory committee formed in Tarpon Springs, and Oldsmar developed a climate plan.

An aerial photo shows downtown St. Petersburg with downtown Tampa in the background in October 2021.
An aerial photo shows downtown St. Petersburg with downtown Tampa in the background in October 2021. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Both Hillsborough County and Pinellas have commissioned studies on future flooding. Funding for Pinellas came in part from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement — money from one calamity going toward understanding another. In May, flood plain administrator Lisa Foster told county commissioners that Pinellas’ research shows some buildings along the coast should be elevated beyond federal standards. Clearwater’s leaders have already adopted those local standards for construction, according to a spokesperson.

Pinellas also has created a tool for community planners to contemplate sea level rise before investing in long-term projects.

“To plan for it, you have to understand what it looks like,” said Kelli Hammer Levy, the county public works director. “That’s kind of the first step we’re doing.”

An aerial photo shows the edge of the Palmetto Beach neighborhood in Tampa in September 2021.
An aerial photo shows the edge of the Palmetto Beach neighborhood in Tampa in September 2021. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Tampa’s engineering office won a $75,000 grant from the state to draw up a vulnerability study and strategy focusing on stormwater systems at risk of sea level rise, said spokesperson Lauren Rozyla. The city is pursuing additional grants for more research on how to protect its coast.

St. Petersburg, among other efforts, is planning a study on seawalls, hoping to toughen codes and make stronger barriers.

The city in 2020 moved toward a major shift in how it develops neighborhoods near the water. It historically had not allowed builders to increase density in places that could flood in a Category 1 hurricane, known as the Coastal High Hazard Area. That meant a property zoned for a single-family home could not suddenly be overhauled to fit a multistory condominium.

An aerial photo shows waterfront neighborhoods of St. Petersburg with the downtown skyline in the background.
An aerial photo shows waterfront neighborhoods of St. Petersburg with the downtown skyline in the background. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Council members and then-Mayor Rick Kriseman, a Democrat, backed a plan to allow more development in the risky zone in select cases, while also increasing building code standards. Critics, including some environmentalists, argue it’s foolish to steer people toward places that could flood.

But about 40 percent of land in the city falls in the Coastal High Hazard Area, forcing St. Petersburg to balance booming growth with the undeniable threat of storm surge. Supporters say allowing more development should encourage builders to replace old houses that would not withstand a storm.

This is like a flipside to retreat in a city that touts itself as one of the state’s most environmentally conscious: Where it’s impossible to live without risk, build higher and harder.

What is Florida’s state government doing?

The summer after he took office, Gov. Ron DeSantis hired Florida’s first-ever chief resilience officer. Julia Nesheiwat stayed less than a year before moving to a homeland security position under then-President Donald Trump.

She left a report that called the state’s climate change work “disjointed.”

For much of the previous decade, state leaders in Tallahassee had ignored or questioned the reality of climate change, while scattered cities and counties used grant money to study the risks.

“Florida needs a statewide strategy,” Nesheiwat wrote. “Communities are overwhelmed and need one place to turn for guidance.”

No one held the chief resilience officer position full time again until late 2021.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces a flooding resilience plan in Oldsmar in December 2021.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces a flooding resilience plan in Oldsmar in December 2021. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Former state Sen. Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican and homebuilder, in 2019 said Florida had “lost a decade” on climate change.

Much of that era came under former Gov. Rick Scott, now a Republican U.S. senator, who oversaw the dismantling of Florida’s early efforts to reduce emissions and plan for climate change. Scott questioned human-made global warming during his campaign and later injected doubt by saying: “I’m not a scientist.” One news report suggested his administration banned the term “climate change” in state government, which Scott denied.

The Legislature is playing catch-up. Last year, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican, spearheaded new policies under the moniker “Always Ready.”

The bills and annual budget steered hundreds of millions of dollars toward flood infrastructure projects and called for the creation of a research hub at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. State officials and scientists will have to compile data on future flood risks and write a vulnerability assessment that contemplates sea level rise.

“There is no question of if it will happen — if we will have significant flooding in our state. The question is only, ‘When?’ ” Sprowls said when DeSantis signed the bills in May in Tarpon Springs.

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls speaks at a news conference in September 2021, flanked by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls speaks at a news conference in September 2021, flanked by Gov. Ron DeSantis. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

The governor in December debuted an initial Statewide Flooding Resilience Plan that would cover dozens of projects over three years to improve infrastructure, including building out stormwater systems and seawalls. During that announcement, DeSantis, a Republican who grew up in Dunedin, discussed the realities of living in storm-prone Florida.

“We’ve looked at what would happen if we had a big one in the Tampa Bay area: It would not be pretty in terms of the potential vulnerabilities,” he said. He mentioned Hurricane Michael and the intense winds that hit the Panhandle, but said newer buildings can withstand fierce gusts.

“When you just get a lot of water coming in, I mean, that’s like the worst for damage and it kind of paralyzes everything,” DeSantis said.

A couple of months later, DeSantis announced $404 million in resilience grants — an unprecedented package for Florida that drew on federal money. State leaders say they hope to devote hundreds of millions more toward similar projects in the next couple of years.

Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated Mexico Beach in October 2018. Storm surge and wind leveled many houses by the water, floating this roof inland to U.S. 98.
Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated Mexico Beach in October 2018. Storm surge and wind leveled many houses by the water, floating this roof inland to U.S. 98. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Environmental groups take issue with Florida’s approach to sea level rise. The nascent efforts focus on adapting to the consequences of climate change, critics say, and not aggressively cutting fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. DeSantis has indicated Florida will probably not change its approach soon. When asked about tackling the causes of climate change during the December announcement, he said people who talk about global warming use it “as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing stuff they’d want to do anyways.”

In the last couple of years, bills to move Florida fully onto renewable energy sources within decades have died in Tallahassee. Lawmakers last year passed a policy making it harder for local governments to independently transition to renewable energy while at the same time approving the “Always Ready” package.

“This is like mopping a flooded bathroom floor without turning off the faucet,” Yoca Arditi-Rocha, executive director of the climate advocacy CLEO Institute, said then.

Nicole Montalvo, 24, left, and Maurice Chinchilla, 25, walk with 3-week-old Emma Chinchilla at DeSoto Park Recreation Complex on McKay Bay in Tampa last month.
Nicole Montalvo, 24, left, and Maurice Chinchilla, 25, walk with 3-week-old Emma Chinchilla at DeSoto Park Recreation Complex on McKay Bay in Tampa last month. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Are there any lessons to learn outside Florida?

People who study flooding and preparedness sometimes point to the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina as a model.

Leaders there have aggressively pursued buyouts in neighborhoods at risk of repeated floods by overflowing creeks and streams. They have purchased and removed more than 400 homes, apartment buildings and businesses over roughly two decades at a cost of about $67 million. The buildings get torn down, the land returned to a more natural state. Some properties, if clustered, can be strung together into trails or a community garden.

“We’ve got a couple hundred lots out there where we’re just mowing the grass,” said David Love, a project manager in the flood mitigation program.

Officials estimate that buyouts have helped prevent $25 million in flood damage, and those savings could eventually top $300 million. The program helps taxpayers, according to the city, by reducing spending on emergency rescues and disaster relief.

The buyouts are voluntary, Love said. Every property in the flood plain is assigned a risk ranking, based on factors like elevation, whether outbuildings are exposed and where cars get parked. The government determines what fixes would work best — possibly elevating or demolishing a building entirely. This helps staff prioritize what to buy.

Officials send a letter or set up a meeting to tell residents about high flood risk and the city’s interest. People looking to move sometimes ask for a deal. The government pays for appraisals, then offers what it views as fair market value.

The system at one point involved substantial federal money but is mostly supported today by revenue from a local stormwater utility fee levied on surfaces like roofs, patios and concrete driveways that keep rain from seeping into the ground. Charlotte says the investment is about $4 million per year.

“We haven’t tried to stop and control the flooding,” Love said. “Our approach has been retreat.”

That may not work everywhere, he acknowledged. Mecklenburg County is not built out, meaning there’s plenty of room for people to move without shrinking the tax rolls. The water is not necessarily an amenity, either, especially by small creeks.

“That wouldn’t be the case on a barrier island or on a canal,” Love said.

Evana Foisy, 17, of Palm Harbor, examines a rock on the beach at Honeymoon Island State Park in April 2021.
Evana Foisy, 17, of Palm Harbor, examines a rock on the beach at Honeymoon Island State Park in April 2021. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

St. Petersburg recently conducted a study of the area around Shore Acres and Riviera Bay, where hundreds of homes repeatedly flood. The city determined that buying and demolishing houses does not make financial sense.

“Not everyone wants to sell their home, so a checkerboard pattern of vacant and occupied lots often remains after a buyout project, leaving ‘holes’ in the neighborhood,” the city wrote. “There is no reduction in expenses to maintain the neighborhood’s infrastructure for the city, although the tax base is reduced.”

Part 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.

Part 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don’t understand the risk.

Part 3: Read our guides for grasping and managing the threat — both individually and collectively.

The team

REPORTERS: Zachary T. Sampson, Langston Taylor

EDITORS: Amy Hollyfield, Mark Katches

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Douglas R. Clifford, Luis Santana, Martha Asencio-Rhine, Dirk Shadd

PHOTO EDITOR: Chris Urso

GRAPHICS: Langston Taylor, Paul Alexander and Ron Borresen

PRINT DESIGN: Paul Alexander

DIGITAL DESIGN: Martin Frobisher

COPY EDITOR: Tim Tierney

ENGAGEMENT: Meaghan Habuda, Carly Thompson and Joshua Gillin

VIDEO: Jennifer Glenfield

CONSULTANTS: Carolyn Fox, Maria Carrillo, Ashley Dye and Adam Playford

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Marcelo Claure Leaves SoftBank and Masa Son With More Challenges https://perbaccocellars.com/marcelo-claure-leaves-softbank-and-masa-son-with-more-challenges/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:38 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1142 A top lieutenant departs SoftBank said today that Marcelo Claure was stepping down as C.O.O. The departure of a longtime lieutenant to the investment giant’s chief, Masa Son, comes as the company faces huge challenges. Claure entered Son’s orbit in 2014, when he was enlisted to run Sprint after the SoftBank-owned wireless carrier gave up […]]]>

SoftBank said today that Marcelo Claure was stepping down as C.O.O. The departure of a longtime lieutenant to the investment giant’s chief, Masa Son, comes as the company faces huge challenges.

Claure entered Son’s orbit in 2014, when he was enlisted to run Sprint after the SoftBank-owned wireless carrier gave up on its effort to buy T-Mobile. (Sprint and T-Mobile ultimately merged in 2020.) He eventually joined SoftBank itself in 2017, becoming a close confidante of Son and assuming a bigger role within the tech giant. Among his biggest responsibilities was overseeing the turnaround of WeWork: SoftBank stepped in to rescue the co-working company — following billions of dollars of investments that pumped up its valuation — when it dropped plans for an I.P.O.

But his final months at SoftBank were filled with disputes over pay. The Times previously reported that Claure had demanded about $2 billion in compensation; Son and others at SoftBank pushed back. He’s still expected to walk away with several hundred million dollars.

Claure’s departure comes at a tricky time for SoftBank, for several reasons:

  • The company’s share price is sinking, amid a decline in tech stocks (more on that below) and Beijing’s crackdown on Alibaba, SoftBank’s single biggest investment.

  • Nvidia’s deal to buy the chip designer Arm from SoftBank faces stiff regulatory opposition, potentially denying SoftBank a big payday.

  • And Claure’s exit deprives the 64-year-old Son of another potential successor, after a series of high-profile executive departures in recent years.

Robinhood’s shares sink on a big loss. The online brokerage said it lost $423 million in the fourth quarter, more than analysts had expected. Despite a strong start last year, thanks to the meme-stock trading surge, Robinhood said trading activity on its platform fell last quarter, while operating expenses grew.

The U.S. posts record economic growth. The country’s G.D.P. grew 5.7 percent last year, the largest annual increase since 1984, as coronavirus vaccines, government pandemic aid and low interest rates bolstered the economy. But voters feel pessimistic about economic conditions, largely because of inflation.

UniCredit abandons a deal over concerns about a war in Ukraine. In withdrawing from a potential takeover of the Russian bank Otkritie, the Italian bank cited “the geopolitical environment.” Rising tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine are affecting businesses around the world.

Two more Libor manipulation convictions are overturned. A federal appeals court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict two former Deutsche Bank traders on charges of fraud and conspiracy. It was the latest defeat for prosecutors trying to convict traders accused of manipulating the once-prominent interest rate benchmark.

Oaktree threatens to seize a prized Evergrande property. The American investment firm told its investors that it has a secured loan linked to a tourist resort that it could claim if Evergrande defaults. That move could face legal challenges in Chinese courts, but highlights the risks facing the embattled Chinese real estate developer as it negotiates with creditors.

Apple reported record quarterly revenue and profit yesterday, easing fears that the tech industry’s long stretch of strong growth was coming to an end. Those fears stem in large part from pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains, particularly for computer chips.

Tim Cook, Apple’s C.E.O., said that supply constraints were worse in the fourth quarter than the one before — but things were looking better in the current quarter, “so there’s some encouraging signs there.” Supply chains have been a prominent talking point during earnings calls this week, and not all executives are as confident that the disruptions will clear as quickly:

  • “In 2022, supply chain will continue to be the fundamental limiter of output across all factories.” — Elon Musk, the C.E.O. of Tesla

  • “Supply chain challenges are expected to continue at least through the first half of ’22, which we’re actively managing.” Carolina Dybeck Happe, the C.F.O. of G.E.

  • “My sense is it’s starting to get a little bit better, but it’s still not back to where things were prepandemic.” — Kevin Ozan, the C.F.O. of McDonald’s


— Spencer Kuvin, a Florida lawyer who has been seeking compensation for women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse, on the tens of millions of dollars in legal fees paid by the estate of the late financier and convicted sex offender.

Comcast said yesterday that its nascent streaming service needs more money — a lot more money. The cable giant, and owner of NBCUniversal, said it would spend $3 billion on content for Peacock this year, double what it spent in 2021. Content costs, it said, are likely to rise to $5 billion a year soon.

As viewing habits shift, streaming has upended Hollywood. But given these services’ soaring costs, investors are questioning their worth to media owners. “The business model is much more capital intensive than most others we have seen,” Michael Nathanson, a longtime media analyst, wrote in a recent report.

Streaming has been a money pit for media giants. Peacock generated revenue of nearly $800 million last year, but lost $1.7 billion. WarnerMedia, which is in the process of being spun out from AT&T, reported higher revenue but lower profits because of higher programming and marketing costs.

Nonetheless, media groups are bullish. “I couldn’t be more excited with the momentum we are seeing,” Comcast’s C.E.O., Brian Roberts, said of Peacock. Disney said it expects to spend an additional $8 billion on content in 2022, much of it for its streaming service. Several high-profile hires at CNN show that it is also betting big on streaming.

Given the high cost of creating new content, the answer might be acquisitions. Lionsgate, a smaller Hollywood studio, has been the subject of takeover speculation. And market watchers say that ViacomCBS could be seeking partners. In its most recent annual report, Netflix for the first time included a dedicated section on acquisitions, and how potential deals could affect its bottom line.


Some start-up investors say they’re confident that a damper on the public market party — that is, a rough few weeks for tech stocks — will not disrupt the private market frenzy that arguably reached peak froth last year. But as markets continue to swing, some warn that the volatility could make start-up investors reconsider those high pre-I.P.O. valuations.

Data from Pitchbook shows that the recent decline in public markets has been particularly hard on venture-backed companies that recently went public:

With I.P.O.s looking shakier, some start-up investors say they’ve already noticed an impact on private markets:

  • “There appears to be more flexibility on valuation,” Ravi Viswanathan, the founder and managing partner at NewView Capital, told Pitchbook.

  • Niko Bonatsos, a managing director at General Catalyst, told The Wall Street Journal that the $1 billion-plus unicorns in his firm’s portfolio now need to show more progress in order to raise additional funding.

  • The Information reported this week that Tiger Global Management slashed its offers for shares of software companies at least twice late last year.


Chris Lehane, the former Airbnb policy chief and Clinton administration veteran, is joining Katie Haun’s crypto venture fund, KRH, DealBook is first to report. Haun was a federal prosecutor who cracked crypto cases before joining Andreessen Horowitz to help lead the firm’s crypto funds. She launched KRH this month.

Lehane will lead global strategy at the fund, applying what he learned at Airbnb to bring crypto concepts like web3 into the mainstream. He spoke with DealBook about his new job. The interview has been edited and condensed.

What’s the back story to your move?

Katie called last year around Thanksgiving. I always joke that when Katie calls you know you’re saying “yes” to something. I think she was still in the process of figuring out her next steps and it was like, “What do you think of this concept? Should we do this?” It’s been a rocket ship since.

When did you meet?

In 2015. I’d just started at Airbnb and it was one of those meetings where you have energy just ping-ponging off one another. I remember leaving thinking everyone there was going to end up being at something that Katie Haun created. No question.

Were you already into crypto?

Yes. I had two “aha” moments years back. I remember driving in the car with my 17-year-old, who was then probably 13, listening to a podcast on the history of money and how crypto is playing into this. He got it in a really interesting way and began talking about blockchain for cap and trade. And my 15-year-old was an early player on Fortnite. I was always complaining that he should go outside and play soccer, but his sword ended up becoming so valuable that people offered him multiple thousands of dollars; that clicked the idea of creating communities and creating value within those communities.

So, do your kids think this is a cool move?

I was pretty cool when I went to Airbnb. I could speak with their friends. Being in the crypto web3 space, my 17-year-old says he’s going to have to get on the Zooms to make sure I use the right words. But I have talked to my kids about the importance of chapters in life — stepping out of your comfort zone, being intellectually challenged — and this is an opportunity to build a better internet that leads to economics being distributed in a more fair way.

Deals

  • HP won its legal battle in London against Mike Lynch, whom it accused of overseeing fraudulent accounting at the software maker Autonomy when he sold it to the company. (Sky News)

  • Blackstone doubled its pay for top dealmakers last year, to a collective $1.6 billion. (Bloomberg)

  • Chinese stock markets have stopped processing at least 60 I.P.O. applications as regulators investigate advisers on the deals, including Deutsche Bank’s China venture. (Reuters)

Policy

  • The F.C.C. revoked China Unicom’s ability to operate in the U.S., citing national security concerns. (NYT)

  • “How the Computer Chip Shortage Could Incite a U.S. Conflict With China” (NYT)

  • Mike Bloomberg argues that a bipartisan bill to rein in Big Tech is bad for consumers, workers and the economy. (Bloomberg Opinion)

  • In billionaire donor news, Ken Langone gave money to the PAC of Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, after the lawmaker opposed President Biden’s social spending plan; and Peter Thiel hosted a fund-raiser for a primary challenger to Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming. (CNBC, Vanity Fair)

Best of the rest

  • Analysts at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase threw cold water on hopes that cryptocurrency prices are set to rebound after a recent price rout. (Bloomberg, Insider)

  • Southwest Air’s C.E.O., Gary Kelly, reversed course and endorsed the effectiveness of face masks on airplanes. (Bloomberg)

  • “Would you buy a home in the metaverse?” (FT)

We’d like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.

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5 Best Loans for Bad Credit of 2022 https://perbaccocellars.com/5-best-loans-for-bad-credit-of-2022/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:33 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1151 Getting a loan can be difficult if you have less-than-stellar credit. Most banks and credit unions may reject your application, limiting your options to expensive loan offers. However, some online lenders offer favorable terms to those who don’t qualify for most personal loans. Here are our picks for the best bad credit loan companies, which […]]]>

Getting a loan can be difficult if you have less-than-stellar credit. Most banks and credit unions may reject your application, limiting your options to expensive loan offers. However, some online lenders offer favorable terms to those who don’t qualify for most personal loans.

Here are our picks for the best bad credit loan companies, which can offer better approval odds and reasonable terms.

Money’s Top Picks of the Best Loans for Bad Credit of 2022

5 Best Loans for Bad Credit Reviews

  • Offers co-signed loans
  • Same-day funding available
  • Mobile app lets you manage your loan and track credit score
  • Over 1,000 branches across 44 states
  • High starting APR compared to other companies
  • Low maximum loan amount of $20,000

HIGHLIGHTS

Term lengths
24, 36, 48, or 60 months
Loan Amounts
$1,500-$20,000 (min and max amounts depend on state of residence)
APR
18.00%-35.99%
Origination Fee
Flat rate ($25-$500) or a percentage of the loan amount (1%-10%)
Minimum Credit Score Required
Not specified

Most bad credit lenders don’t offer secured loans, that is, personal loans guaranteed by an asset, such as a savings account or car. OneMain Financial, on the other hand, has both unsecured and secured loans available for high-risk borrowers.

Secured loans are usually easier to qualify for because the collateral guarantees creditors get repaid if you default on the loan. And, if you have poor credit, applying for a secured loan can improve your odds of getting approved and might even get you better rates. You can get approved for a OneMain Financial secured loan by using your car, RV, motorcycle or a boat as a payment guarantee.

Fast funding is another one of OneMain Financial’s benefits. Most loan providers disburse funds the next business day after your application is approved. OneMain, on the other hand, says it can transfer your money the same day if you get approved by noon. (This funding option is available only if you have a bank-issued debit card. If you opt for a bank account transfer, it will take around one or two business days after the loan closing date.)

  • Accepts people with lower credit scores and shorter credit histories
  • Loans can be used to fund education-related expenses
  • Origination fees as low as 0%
  • Only two repayment options (3 and 5 years)
  • No mobile app or credit score tracker

HIGHLIGHTS

Term Lengths
36 or 60 months
Loan Amounts
$1,000–$50,000 (minimums vary by state)
APR
3.50% – 35.99%
Origination Fee
0%–8%
Late payment fee
The greater of 5% of monthly past due amount or $15
Minimum Credit Score Required
600

Many applicants get rejected for a loan because of a short credit history, even if they have an impeccable on-time payment history. That’s because most creditors prefer longer track records that let them get a sense of your creditworthiness. Upstart, on the other hand, uses alternative data and artificial intelligence to evaluate people with poor or little credit.

The company’s loan approval process relies on an applicant’s job and school background in addition to their credit information. This can help people with a short credit report but a solid educational background get an excellent loan offer, for example. However, you could still get rejected if you have a low score plus a history of missed payments or charge-offs on your report.

In 2017, at the behest of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Upstart agreed to analyze how its loan approval process compares to the one used by traditional lenders. According to the results shared with the CFPB, Upstart’s tests show that the company approves around 27% more loans than traditional lenders, and their loans’ APRs are about 16% lower.

HIGHLIGHTS

Term Lengths
36 or 60 months
Loan Amounts
$1,000-$40,000
APR
7.04% to 35.89%
Origination Fee
3% to 6%
Late payment fee
Not specified
Minimum Credit Score Required
600
  • Pays your creditors directly if you choose a debt consolidation loan
  • Co-borrowers accepted
  • Only two repayment options available (3 and 5 years)
  • Funding can take two days or more
  • Higher origination fee than other companies

Lenders typically let you change your payment due date once every twelve months. LendingClub, on the other hand, gives you two options: you can move your due date permanently or make a one-time change to your next payment date.

You can permanently move your future monthly payments up to 15 days before or after the original due date. If you’d just like to make a one-time change for your next bill, you need to contact LendingClub at least three days before it’s due. The company might accept pushing back your next billing date, which can help you avoid late payment fees.

LendingClub is also an excellent option for people who want to consolidate their debt. Many lenders offer debt consolidation loans — loans used to pay off multiple outstanding accounts at once. However, once you’re approved, you’re in charge of paying each lender individually once you receive the funds.

LendingClub, on the other hand, makes the debt consolidation process simpler by paying lenders for you.

  • Rate discount with autopay
  • Wide range of loan terms available
  • Secured loans available
  • Higher maximum origination fee than other companies

HIGHLIGHTS

Term Lengths
24 to 84 months
Loan Amounts
$1,000 to $50,000
APR
5.94%-35.97%
Origination Fee
2.9% to 8%
Late payment fee
Up to $10 if payment isn’t received within 15 days of the due date
Minimum Credit Score Required
560

Upgrade offers the best loan terms and personal finance tools of the companies.

Many companies catering to high-risk borrowers offer limited repayments periods and loan amounts. Upgrade, however, offers loans ranging from $1,000 up to $50,000, which can be paid over periods of 2 to 7 years. Upgrade also offers secured loans, which aren’t common amongst lenders for subprime borrowers.

Another advantage of Upgrade is its mobile app. Most lenders for poor credit offer limited tech perks, and if they do have an app, you can use it only to check your balance and make payments. Upgrade’s app lets you manage your loan, check your score and get notification of changes to your credit report. You also get access to a credit score simulator. This tool can help you see how certain financial decisions can impact your scores, like closing a credit card account or applying for an auto loan.

  • Compare multiple companies at once
  • Offers plenty of financial education resources
  • Can lead to multiple marketing calls or emails from creditors

LendingTree is an online lending marketplace that makes it easier to compare rates and fees from different companies without submitting multiple individual applications.

LendingTree has partnerships with top-rated lenders such as Rocket Loans, SoFi, Marcus and all the companies mentioned in this list. It can connect you with providers of personal, auto or home equity loans whether you have fair or excellent credit.

If you create an account, LendingTree also offers several personal finance tools such as a monthly payment calculator and a budget tracker.

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Other companies we considered

Avant

Why it didn’t make the cut: ​​In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Avant for allegedly engaging in unfair loan servicing practices such as withdrawing money from consumers’ accounts and charging their credit cards without authorization.

  • Most customers have a credit score between 600 to 700
  • Accepts multiple payment methods like checks, money orders, credit and debit cards
  • Lower maximum origination fee (up to 4.75%) than others
  • Sued by the FTC for allegedly deceiving customers

SeedFi

Why it didn’t make the cut: SeedFi offers credit-building loans which are a great way to improve a poor score or a thin credit file. However, the company only operates in 36 states.

  • Offers credit-building loans for $500
  • No credit check
  • Loan payments are deposited in a saving accounts
  • Available in only 36 states

Prosper

Why it didn’t make the cut: Prosper requires a minimum score of 640 to apply. While this falls in the Fair range of the FICO scoring system, it is much higher when compared to other online lenders on our list.

  • Loans up to $40,000
  • Maximum origination fee lower than other companies
  • Accepts co-applicants
  • High minimum credit score requirement
  • Loans available for only 3- or 5-year terms

LendingPoint

Why it didn’t make the cut: LendingPoint is one of the few bad credit loan providers that consider alternative data, like your job history, during their approval process. However, it has a higher minimum APR and lower loan amounts than Upstart, our main pick for a creditor that uses alternative data.

  • Accepts applicants with credit score below 600
  • Loans available up to $36,500
  • Origination fee as low as 0%
  • High starting APR (9.99%) compared to similar creditors
  • Does not offer joint or cosigned loans

Universal Credit

Why it didn’t make the cut: Universal Credit has a higher starting APR (8.93%) and origination fees (4.25%) than other loan providers on our list.

  • Rate discount with autopay
  • Loans available up to $50,000
  • Access to financial tools such as credit score simulator
  • No joint, co-signed or secured loans
  • Origination fees of up to 8%
  • High APR compared to competitors

Oportun

Why it didn’t make the cut: Oportun offers personal loans in a limited number of states and reports customer accounts to only two of the three main credit bureaus — TransUnion and Equifax. Having your on-time payments reported to every bureau is a must if you want to improve each of your three credit reports. The company is also under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its collection practices from 2019 to 2021 and the hardship plans it offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Accepts co-signers
  • Considers applicants with limited or no credit history
  • Offers secured loans
  • Limited loan amounts for new customers (typically $500 – $3,500)
  • Only reports payments to two of the three bureaus
  • Loans available in only 26 states

PenFed Credit Union

Why it didn’t make the cut: Applicants with bad credit scores could have a harder time getting approved with PenFed than with other companies in our list.

  • Broad loan amount range ($600 to $50,000)
  • Joint and secured loans available
  • Stricter credit requirements than many on this list

Our Guide to Loans for Bad Credit

Loans can be lifesavers, especially when unexpected expenses arise. Qualifying for one is also an excellent opportunity to improve your credit rating if you make timely payments. However, it’s important to know how to compare loan offers and lenders.

Read on to find out how to choose the best personal loans for bad credit and how these loans work.

What are loans for bad credit?

Bad credit loans let individuals with poor or no credit history borrow a set amount of money and repay it, plus interest, in fixed monthly payments over the loan’s term, just like other personal loans. These fixed-rate installment loans are aimed at people with credit scores of 669 or less, and usually have higher interest rates.

Most lenders rely on one of two credit scoring models — FICO and the VantageScore — and they both classify credit scores on a scale that goes from poor to excellent. A good score starts at 670 in the FICO model and at 661 in VantageScore; but do note that most lenders use the FICO scoring model to evaluate potential customers. The higher your score is, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan and get lower interest rates.

While many lenders are hesitant to offer loans to people with bad credit, some do offer financing options for high-risk individuals. In some instances, these loans can provide an excellent opportunity to consolidate credit card debt or for emergencies. Paying a loan on time can also help boost scores as it shows creditors you have now improved your debt management skills.

How do bad credit loans work?

Bad credit loans have more lenientlax requirements when compared to other loans. However, financial institutions still need borrowers to go through an application process to evaluate their eligibility.

Here’s an overview of how bad credit loans and the lenders that offer them work:

  • Most companies offer online pre-qualifications. Checking if you’re pre-qualified is an excellent way to gauge your approval odds with a lender.
  • Once you find a lender you like, you’ll have to fill out an application form with personal information such as your name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
  • Lenders typically ask for supporting documentation such as proof of identity (like your driver’s license or passport), paystubs, tax returns, bank statements or utility bills.
  • Lenders specializing in high-risk borrowers typically require a credit score between 580-669.
  • Besides your score, lenders also consider whether your income is enough to cover monthly loan payments. To determine this, they look at your debt-to-income ratio — the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying debts. Having a ratio below 40% can give you better approval odds.
  • Annual percentage rates (APR) can fluctuate between 5% to 36%. They can include an application fee between 0% to 8%.
  • Loans are available with repayment terms between two to five years.
  • Some lenders offer loans for up to $50,000.
  • The loan disbursement time (how long it takes for the bank to issue the money) varies between lenders. Some offer next-day funding through electronic deposit to a checking account, but it can sometimes take up to a week.
  • Like other personal loans, these loans can be used for home improvements, debt consolidation, medical bills or buying a car, for example.

Types of loans for bad credit

Personal loans for bad credit

Personal loans can be either unsecured or secured. Both have a similar application process, their key difference is the need for collateral — an asset, such as a home or a vehicle.

Unsecured personal loans don’t require it. To determine if you qualify or not, lenders assess several factors such as your credit history and score, income and employment. It can be difficult for individuals with a poor score to qualify for an unsecured loan unless they find a lender willing to work with high-risk borrowers.

Secured loans, on the other hand, require collateral. It guarantees lenders will be paid, even if you default the loan. These loans are often easier to qualify for and have better rates than unsecured loans do. However, before applying, make sure you can make the monthly payments. Missing payments could result in losing what you put up as collateral and damaging your credit score further.

Payday loans for bad credit

A payday loan is a type of unsecured, short-term loan usually meant to be paid back before your next payday, hence the name. These loans are often for small amounts, around $500, and have annual percentage rates (APR) of over 200%. By way of comparison, interest rates for personal loans usually cap at 30%.

Some people with low credit turn to payday loans for their convenience. Payday lenders often don’t run credit checks, and you can get the funds quickly through a direct bank deposit. However, their staggeringly high interest rates and additional fees can leave some struggling to pay it back or deciding what bills to pay on time. Failing to pay the loan can trigger additional fees, leading you to borrow more and increasing your debt.

Student loans for bad credit

Many personal loan lenders forbid borrowers from using their loan proceeds to pay for educational expenses like tuition and books. It is possible, however, to use personal loans to pay for other expenses while you’re in school.

However, when it comes to financing educational expenses, a student loan might still be the best option, especially if you have bad credit. The federal government has lenient credit requirements, and even students with poor or no credit are often able to get loans.

Private student loans, on the other hand, are offered by non-governmental financial institutions such as banks or credit unions. Getting a private student loan with bad credit can be more challenging, but having a co-signer — someone who agrees to pay for the loan if you can’t — often helps

Home equity loans for bad credit

A home equity loan is a form of secured loan in which you can borrow money against your home’s equity, that is, your home’s current market value minus what you still owe on the mortgage loan. Most lenders allow you to borrow an amount up to 80% to 85% of your home equity.

Each lender has different minimum requirements, but most will generally require a credit score of at least 620, a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less and at least 15% equity in your home.

It’s important to keep in mind that, with this type of loan, your residence is your collateral. This means that, If you’re unable to keep up with your monthly payments, the lender can foreclose on your home.

HELOCs for bad credit

Much like home equity loans, HELOCs — or home equity lines of credit — let homeowners borrow money based on their home equity. However, while a home equity loan gives borrowers a lump sum which is paid back in fixed installments, HELOCs are more similar to credit cards.

With a HELOC, your lender sets an amount you’re allowed to borrow, usually up to 85% of the equity you have in your home. You can keep borrowing from that amount and then repay it (with a variable interest rate) until the draw period closes. This draw period is usually between five and 10 years. During these years, you can borrow money as many times as you want up to the allowed amount and you can choose to pay back only the interest or make payments to the principal as well. Once this period is over, a repayment period follows where you must pay all of the borrowed money back.

Like other home equity loans, HELOCs carry a risk of foreclosure. They can also have additional fees and minimum withdrawal requirements, which may force you to borrow more than you actually need.

HELOCs aren’t always the best option for subprime borrowers. Some lenders, such as Discover, may accept applicants with credit scores as low as 620, but most prefer scores above 670.

Cash advances for bad credit

Cash advances are a quick and easy way to get a short-term loan. They are offered by credit card issuers and allow you to borrow against your card’s line of credit.

Cash advances don’t require a credit check since they are issued directly through your credit card. However, they usually have higher interest rates when compared to your card’s standard purchase APR. For example, cards can have a 15 – 20% APR for purchases and around 26% for cash advances. Credit card companies also typically charge an additional cash advance fee ranging between 3% to 5% of the loaned amount.

If it takes you a while to pay the cash advance, it could hike up your monthly bill, possibly making it difficult to pay the loan or your regular credit card balance.

How to choose a loan for bad credit

Loans for people with bad credit typically have higher interest rates and fees than other personal loans. However, it’s possible to find reasonable offers. Here are a few tips on how to choose the best loan for you:

Compare eligibility requirements: Some lenders list their eligibility requirements on their websites, usually under their loan descriptions or in the FAQ section. Look for details such as minimum credit scores, minimum income and preferred debt-to-income ratio.

If your top picks don’t disclose this information, keep in mind most bad credit loan lenders prefer credit scores above 580. Also, most lenders favor customers with a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio below 36%.

To calculate your DTI ratio, divide your total monthly debt (mortgage plus auto loan, for example) by your monthly income. For example, if your monthly debt equals $1,000 and your gross monthly income is $3,000, your DTI ratio is 33% (1,000/3,000=0.333).

Get prequalified: A pre-qualification is a ballpark estimate based on basic financial information, including your income and current total debt. It provides a general idea of how much money a creditor is willing to lend you. While these don’t represent an official offer, they’re helpful when comparing loan options.

Getting prequalified lets you check whether you might qualify for a loan with a specific lender while avoiding multiple hard inquiries. Formal loan applications, on the other hand, involve hard inquiries, or hard credit pulls, which are noted on your credit report and can lower your score further.

Pre-qualifications, on the other hand, only involve a soft credit check. These inquiries don’t impact your score.

Compare interest rates, terms and fees: Interest rates for bad credit loans can be as high as 36%. However, it’s possible to find loans with more affordable rates. Compare offers between several companies before formally applying. Also, compare their origination, prepayment and late payment fees.

Repayment terms for personal loans usually range between 24 to 60 months. Keep in mind that a shorter repayment term means that you’ll settle your debt sooner and pay less in interest (although your monthly bill will be higher). A longer repayment term reduces your monthly bill, but you’ll spend more on interest in the long run.

Online vs. brick-and-mortar lenders: Most bad credit loans are offered by available through online lenders. These usually have more flexible eligibility requirements and lower interest rates than traditional banks. However, their customer service is only available through online forms, email and phone. Some clients may not be comfortable dealing with online-only customer service. The retail presence of traditional banks and credit unions, on the other hand, can make some feel more comfortable when applying for a loan or dealing with complaints.

Consider a secured loan or a co-signer: If your loan options are limited, applying for a secured loan or using a co-signer can boost your approval odds and help you get a better deal.

With secured loans, the debt is backed by collateral, like a car or house. If you default on your loan, the creditor will seize to settle the remaining balance. When using a co-signer, the person is responsible for paying your loan if you default on it.

Check your credit report and score: Reviewing your credit report and score before shopping around for a loan can help you better understand your approval odds. Checking your credit report can also help you spot inaccurate or outdated financial information that may be impacting your score. Check out our guide on how to read your credit report for tips on how to interpret the information being reported.

You can request a free copy of your report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies through AnnualCreditReport.com. Normally, you are entitled to one free copy per year. However, due to provisions set in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can access your report weekly until April 20, 2022.

Note that credit scores aren’t included in the free report. To get your FICO score (the most widely used metric), you can purchase a report directly from the credit bureaus or through FICO’s official website. Some banks or credit card issuers also provide it for free.

Some financial websites and apps offer free credit scores. However, the score they provide is based on the VantageScore scoring system, which isn’t a staple amongst creditors and is calculated differently. Some differences between FICO and VantageScore are how much weight the scoring systems put on payment history and credit usage, for example.

Try to increase your score before applying: If getting a loan isn’t urgent, consider trying to improve your score before you apply. If you take the time to repair bad credit before applying for a loan, you could end up saving hundreds, or thousands, in interest costs.

Boosting your creditworthiness can take months. However, it’s certainly possible to improve your credit score if you follow these tips:

Look out for predatory lenders: If you have poor credit, you may be targeted by predatory lenders offering loans without the need for a credit check. These are known as car title and payday loans. These are small loans with exceedingly high APRs (they can reach the triple digits) as well as high late fees and penalties.

Other loan offers you receive may be scams. You can avoid lending scams by verifying if the company is registered in the state it operates. You should also stay away from lenders who demand money upfront and/or unclear or confusing terms and fees.

Bad Credit Loans Glossary

Annual percentage rate (APR): The yearly rate of interest a borrower pays on a loan. It includes interest rates, closing costs and other associated fees, like origination fees.

Car title loans: Loans that use your vehicle or motorcycle as collateral. These are short-term, but expensive loans, typically with sky-high APRs and plenty of fees.

Co-borrower: Also known as a co-applicant or joint borrower, a co-borrower shares repayment responsibility with the principal applicant and gets access to the funds. Having a co-borrower with a solid credit profile can help you qualify for lower interest rates and larger loan amounts.

Co-signer: Like a co-borrower, a co-signer can help you get a better offer. However, co-signers don’t get access to the money. Instead, they act as guarantors, agreeing to pay back the loan if the original borrower stops making payments.

Payday (cash advance) loans: These are short-term, high-interest loans that don’t usually require a credit check. They’re sometimes advertised on radio and television with some variation of the phrase “Get cash fast”. We don’t recommend these loans, as many payday lenders engage in predatory lending practices and interest rates can sometimes go as high as 400% or more.

Hard credit pull: A type of credit inquiry that can temporarily lower your score by a few points. It happens when a financial institution requests your credit report as part of the loan application process.

Soft credit pull: Also called a soft inquiry, this happens when creditors review your credit history to grant a pre-qualification. A soft credit check isn’t tied to an official loan application and it doesn’t impact your score.

Latest News on Bad Credit Loans

There are several types of mortgages you may qualify for even if you have poor credit. Check out our article on How to Get a Mortgage With Bad Credit for more information.

Having a solid credit score improves your chances of getting lower interest rates. Here are some tips to help you improve a low score and, in turn, your loan approval odds: 7 Steps to Improve Your Credit Score Right Now.

Having a less-than-stellar credit history not only limits your financial options but also your chances of getting approved for an apartment How to Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit.

Credit card debt can lead to a bad credit score, especially if you miss monthly payments or your credit utilization rate is high. Here are 6 Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast that could help you bring your debt down.

What Is Bad Credit Exactly?

Credit Rating FICO Score Vantage Score
Excellent 800 + 901-990
Very Good 740-799 801-900
Good 670-739 701-800
Fair 580-669 601-700
Poor 300-579 501-600

Best Loans for Bad Credit FAQ

Which loan company is the best for bad credit?

Several online lenders extend loans to individuals with a poor or bad credit score. Our list of the best bad credit loan companies includes Upgrade, OneMain Financial, Upstart and LendingClub.

How can I fix my credit score?

Fixing your credit score takes time, but there are steps you can take to start the process. First, make sure to check your credit report throughly to find any inaccurate items, such as accounts that don’t belong to you. Focus on reducing your overall debt, paying items in collections and keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30%. It’s also best to avoid applying for new loans or credit cards unless absolutely necessary.

What does it mean to consolidate debt?

Debt consolidation involves taking out one loan to pay off multiple outstanding accounts. For example, you can use a debt consolidation loan to pay off several credit cards. Once those debts are paid, you’ll only pay a single monthly bill — the debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans can potentially offer lower interest rates and monthly payments and make it easier to manage your finances.

How to apply for loans with bad credit

It’s important to check your credit score before applying. Lenders who specialize in high-risk borrowers usually require a minimum FICO score of anywhere between 580 and 699. You should also shop around for the best offer by getting prequalifications from a few lenders, if possible. If you don’t need the money for an emergency, try to improve your credit before applying for a loan. This could help you save hundreds or even thousands in interest.

What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan?

Secured loans require collateral, such as a home or car, to get approved. Some secured loan providers may also accept a savings account or CD account as collateral. These loans are typically easier to obtain and have better annual percentage rates (APR) since the collateral guarantees the lender gets paid in case of a default.
An unsecured loan, on the other hand, does not require collateral. The lender uses the borrower’s credit history and score to determine their creditworthiness. This makes them a more suitable option for people with a good credit score.

How We Chose The Best Bad Credit Lenders

Credit score and odds of approval

The first thing we looked at was whether you’re likely to qualify at all with bad credit. Many lenders have set risk thresholds for other criteria, so you could still be denied based on not having enough free cash flow at the end of the month, among other factors.

We looked for lenders willing to offer loans to borrowers with scores between 580 and 669 in the FICO score range. Do note that most loan lenders aren’t willing to work with customers with scores below 580.

Loan details

We compared interest rates, loan amounts, repayment terms, funding time, disbursement options and additional fees from several banks and online lenders. Our picks offer reasonable terms, no prepayment penalties and better approval odds for individuals with low credit scores who may have difficulty applying for new lines of credit elsewhere.

Credit bureau reporting

Unlike payday lenders, companies on our list report your payments to credit bureaus. Making late payments can harm your credit score further. However, as long as you make your payments on time, you could increase your score, which will make it easier to qualify for loans with more favorable terms in the future.

Consumer satisfaction

We considered the number of complaints each company had with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and looked for any history of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violations. Also, we took into account customer reviews in sources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Customer experience

We favored companies that provide online pre-qualification forms, a streamlined application process, several customer support channels, financial education resources or a mobile app to manage loan payments.

Summary of Money’s Best Loans for Bad Credit of 2022

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32 Black-Owned Banks and Credit Unions, Sorted by State https://perbaccocellars.com/32-black-owned-banks-and-credit-unions-sorted-by-state/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:28 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1157 Black-owned banks and credit unions by state Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina […]]]>

Black-owned banks and credit unions by state

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

The history of Black-owned banks

Black-owned banks have a long history of serving Black Americans, and they continue to serve communities today.

The first national bank in the US was created in 1791. While it initially opened in Philadelphia, it had branches across the country. But as slavery continued, the bank did not serve all Americans. 

The end of the Civil War eventually brought millions of Black Americans freedom from slavery. And even though then-President Abraham Lincoln established the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (“Freedman’s Bank”) in 1865 to help serve freed slaves, Freedman’s Bank failed in 1874 due to corruption and risky investments. Though it had once boasted 37 branches and $57 million in deposits, thousands of Black customers lost their savings

Against a backdrop of racist practices in the


banking industry

, including denial of access, Black-owned banks arose to help disenfranchised Black Americans. In 1888, Capital Savings Bank in Washington, DC, became the first Black bank to open, and the Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain United Order of True Reformers in Richmond, Virginia, became the first chartered Black-owned bank in the United States, later opening in 1889. More Black-owned banks followed. 

Today, these banks are considered “minority depository institutions” (MDI) by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC defines an MDI as “a federal insured depository institution for which (1) 51% or more of the voting stock is owned by minority individuals; or (2) a majority of the board of directors is minority and the community that the institution serves is predominantly minority.” There are dozens of Black-owned financial institutions in the United States, including


credit unions

.

FAQs

How did Personal Finance Insider choose the banks and credit unions on this list?

Each bank we selected is an FDIC-designated minority depository institution. The FDIC defines an MDI as a bank in which “minority individuals own 51% or more of the voting stock, or a majority of the board of directors is a minority and the community that the institution serves is predominantly minority.” We chose banks on the FDIC’s official MDI list as of the third quarter of 2021. 

Each credit union we selected is an NCUA-designated minority depository institution. The NCUA defines an MDI as a credit union in which “more than 50% of its current members are minority individuals, more than 50% of its current and eligible potential members are minority individuals, and more than 50% of its current board members are minority individuals.”

We narrowed down our list by setting 10,000 members as the minimum threshold for a credit union to be considered. You can find smaller credit unions that may be closer to you on this list

What’s the difference between a bank and a credit union?

Banks and credit unions are fairly similar — they’re places that allow you to sock away cash and borrow money. However, there are a few key differences that may help you decide between them. 

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations owned by their members. As a result, they can often offer lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on savings products. 

Shareholders own banks, which are for-profit financial institutions. Banks frequently have better online and mobile applications with more features, as they have more resources for research and development. 

Credit unions often have specific eligibility requirements, such as living in a particular location or belonging to a specific group. Credit unions tend to have fewer physical branch locations, so if in-person transactions are important to you, you may want to consider a bank. 

Both financial institutions insure your accounts up to $250,000, so you’re protected if your bank or credit union closes. They both frequently offer similar services, like


checking accounts

, savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. 

What is the largest Black-owned bank?

OneUnited Bank is the nation’s largest Black-owned and FDIC-insured bank. It was established by combining Black-owned banks from across the country

OneUnited offers fully-online banking nationwide, financial workshops for members, and has financed over $100 million in loans in recent years in low- and middle-income communities.

Are Black-owned financial institutions still important service providers? 

Yes. There continues to be a racial wealth gap in the United States, and access to traditional banks is limited in many majority-Black communities. 

“Even though we have federal fair lending and anti-discrimination laws, Black people still suffer from racial discrimination in the banking sector,” said Robert E. James, II, chairman of the National Bankers Association, a trade organization and advocacy voice for the nation’s minority banks. Black-owned banks and credit unions can be “financial anchors for communities that have been historically deprived equal access to credit, capital, and even basic financial services,” said James.

Without access to traditional financial institutions, many Americans turn to high-interest payday loans or pawn shops for access to capital. Lenders often allow people to use alternative forms of credit if they have a poor or low credit score so they can obtain the loan. However, high interest rates and additional fees can make these high-interest loans harder to pay off on time.


According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many people are unable to pay off these loans and end up having to either get another loan or roll over their loan for another period of time, which adds further fees. 

Black-owned banks in Black communities can offer access to FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts, financial literacy programs, reasonable loans, and more. 

The number of Black-owned banks has dwindled over the years. Why? 

Like their non-minority peers, many Black-owned banks suffered during the Great


Depression

, though the damage was more severe because of their locations in lower-income communities hit hard by economic decline. There was a resurgence in Black banking in the 1960s and ’70s, but the industry was again struck by economic decline in the 1980s and during the Great


Recession

in 2008.

In 2020, the 20 MDIs tracked by the FDIC (which insures banks) held about $5.5 billion in assets. It’s a small percentage of the total industry, but a percentage nonetheless. 

“The No. 1 reason for the sharp decline in Black banks has been lack of access to capital,” James told Insider. “Some of that has to do with small scale, being privately held, and the like. Also, our relative small scale has meant that our banks haven’t been able to achieve the economies of other, larger banks, hampering our opportunities to grow and expand.” 

Banks can raise capital by providing a variety of services and products, like loans or bank accounts, and imposing fees. Since Black-owned banks primarily serve minority communities, these institutions aren’t able to offer the same variety of products and services as national banks, and as a result, have more limited opportunities for access to capital.

What kinds of services do these institutions offer today? 

These banks and credit unions offer a range of personal and business banking services, including deposit accounts, online banking services, credit cards, retirement accounts, and mortgage lending. 

Who can bank at a Black-owned bank? 

Anyone. We are all subject to the same regulations and standards as any other bank, and all of our banks welcome customers of any race, gender, religion or sexual orientation,” said James, pointing to the Atlanta Hawks 2020 agreement to secure $35 million in construction financing via Black-owned banks — a first for a professional sports team. “We specialize in customer service and treat all customers fairly.” 

To bank with most of these insitutions, you need to either a) live in a certain state, or b) open an account at a branch — so you can probably only bank with them if you live nearby. But there are a couple, such as OneUnited and Liberty Bank & Trust, that allow you to open an account online from anywhere in the US.

Where can I learn more about Black-owned banks and credit unions?

Check out this list, of course, and read “Let Us Put Our Money Together: The Founding of America’s First Black Banks,” a publication of the


Federal Reserve

Bank of Kansas City. 

And if you want more information on MDIs, including those owned by Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans, visit the webpage of the National Bankers Association. For historical data on MDIs (banks only), visit the FDIC’s webpage.

Where to find Black-owned banks and credit unions in every state

Alabama

Alamerica Bank

Branches: 1 (Birmingham)

ATMs: 0

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts,


money market accounts

, certificates of deposit, commercial real estate loans, lines of credit, auto loans, construction loans, lot loans, online banking

Read Insider’s full review of Alamerica Bank here.

Citizens Trust Bank

Branches: 2 (Birmingham, Eutaw)

ATMs: 0

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, credit cards, home loans, personal loans, auto loans, home equity lines of credit, online banking, mobile banking

Read Insider’s full review of Citizens Trust Bank here.

Commonwealth National Bank

Branches: 2 (Mobile)

ATMs: 2 bank-operated (Mobile), or any Publix Super Market ATM/PNC Bank ATM nationwide

Services: Credit builder certificate of deposit loans, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, personal loans, home loans, vehicle loans, commercial loans, online banking, mobile banking

Community outreach: Commonwealth National Bank offers student scholarships and leadership development programs, and it supports organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Commonwealth National Bank here.

Hope Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Montgomery) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network 

ATMs: 2 (Montgomery) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, credit builder loans, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, savings/share certificate secured loans, signature loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Hope Credit Union provides funding for affordable housing and healthy-food programs, as well as leadership training opportunities. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Hope Credit Union here.

Liberty Bank

Branches: 2 (Montgomery, Tuskegee)

ATMs: 2 (Montgomery, Tuskegee)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Alaska

None

Arizona

None

Arkansas

Hope Credit Union

Branches: 3 (College Station, Little Rock, West Memphis) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network 

ATMs: 3 (College Station, Little Rock, West Memphis) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, credit builder loans, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, savings/share certificate secured loans, signature loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Hope Credit Union provides funding for affordable housing and healthy-food programs, as well as leadership training opportunities. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Hope Credit Union here.

California

Broadway Federal Bank

Branches: 3 (Inglewood, Los Angeles)

ATMs: 3 (Inglewood, Los Angeles) or any one of over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, apartment loans, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Broadway Federal Bank here. 

OneUnited Bank

Branches: 1* (Los Angeles)

ATMs: Any one of over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, home loans, multifamily loans, commercial real estate loans

Community outreach: OneUnited Bank provides contributions focused on four major areas: financial literacy, general literacy, affordable housing, and community development. Read more here.

*OneUnited Bank plans to open a new Compton branch in spring 2021.

Read Insider’s full review of OneUnited Bank here. 

Colorado

None

Connecticut

None

Delaware

None

Florida

OneUnited Bank

Branches: 1 (Miami)

ATMs: Any one of over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, home loans, multifamily loans, commercial real estate loans

Community outreach: OneUnited Bank provides contributions focused on four major areas: financial literacy, general literacy, affordable housing, and community development. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of OneUnited Bank here. 

Georgia

Carver State Bank

Branches: 2 (Savannah)

ATMs: 3 (Savannah)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, auto loans, credit rebuilder loans, church financing, credit counseling, online banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Carver State Bank, with community partners, has established a program to help low-income individuals and families become small business owners and graduates of post-secondary education programs. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Carver State Bank here. 

Citizens Trust Bank

Branches: 6 (Atlanta, East Point, South Fulton, Stonecrest, Stone Mountain)

ATMs: 7 (Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, Stonecrest, Stone Mountain)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, home loans, personal loans, auto loans, home equity lines of credit, online banking, mobile banking

Read Insider’s full review of Citizens Trust Bank here.

Credit Union of Atlanta

Branches: 2 (Atlanta)

ATMs: 4 (Atlanta) or any one of over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs and any ATM in the STAR network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, share certificates, individual retirement accounts, auto loans, secured loans, credit cards, home loans, home equity loans, signature loans, credit builder loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking 

Community outreach: Credit Union of Atlanta sponsors a scholarship for students ages seven to 24 to support childrens’ futures. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Credit Union of Atlanta here.

Unity National Bank

Branches: 1 (Atlanta)

ATMs: 1 (Atlanta) or any one of the ATMs in the Select ATM network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, faith-based organizational loans, online banking, mobile banking

Community outreach: Unity National Bank financially supports agencies like the YMCA, YWCA, NAACP, and United Negro College Fund. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Unity National Bank here.

Hawaii

None

Idaho

None

Illinois

ABD Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (Belvidere) and any branch in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000 additional no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, share certificates, individual retirement accounts, credit cards, debit/ATM card, auto loans, home equity loans, student loans, online banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: ABD Federal Credit Union has helped with projects like Habitat for Humanity and local soup kitchens. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of ABD Federal Credit Union here.

GN Bank

Branches: 1 (Chicago)

ATMs: 2 (Chicago) and any ATM in the STAR network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, personal lines of credit, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking

Read Insider’s full review of GN Bank here.

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Forest Park)

ATMs: 1 (Forest Park) and any ATM in the STAR network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Indiana

None

Iowa

None

Kansas

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Kansas City)

ATMs: 1 (Kansas City)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Kentucky

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Louisville)

ATMs: 0

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Louisiana

Hope Credit Union

Branches: 2 (New Orleans) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network 

ATMs: 2 (New Orleans) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, credit builder loans, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, savings/share certificate secured loans, signature loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Hope Credit Union provides funding for affordable housing and healthy-food programs, as well as leadership training opportunities. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Hope Credit Union here.

Liberty Bank

Branches: 7 (Baton Rouge, New Orleans)

ATMs: 19 (Baton Rouge, New Orleans)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Maine

None

Maryland

Andrews Federal Credit Union

Branches: 3 (Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland, Waldorf) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ free ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards, gift cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, homeowners insurance, early direct deposit, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, overseas branches

Community outreach: Andrews Federal Credit Union sponsors 10 $2,000 college scholarships per year to help members pay for school costs. Learn more here

Read Insider’s full review of Andrews Federal Credit Union here.

Democracy Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (District Heights) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ free ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts,


money management

accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, auto loans, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, recreational vehicle loans, share and secured loans, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Democracy Federal Credit Union here.

Industrial Bank

Branches: 2 (Forestville, Oxon Hill)

ATMs: 2 (Forestville, Oxon Hill) and any ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, debit cards

Community outreach: Industrial Bank provides free financial literacy courses every year and participates in community service. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Industrial Bank here.

Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore

Branches: 9 (Baltimore, Catonsville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Randallstown) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 9 (Baltimore, Catonsville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Randallstown) and 30,000 additional no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, education savings accounts, auto loans, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, insurance products

Community outreach: MECU supports local nonprofits that work in arts and culture, youth empowerment, community development, and more. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore here.

Securityplus Federal Credit Union

Branches: 3 (Baltimore, Owings Mills) and over 6,400 shared branches

ATMs: 3 (Baltimore, Owings Mills) and ATMs in the Allpoint Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, education savings accounts, vehicle loans, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, secured loans, reloadable cards, online banking, mobile banking, insurance products

Community outreach: Securityplus is part of the HopeFul Market, a free farmers market for the homeless. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Securityplus Federal Credit Union here.

The Harbor Bank of Maryland

Branches: 7 (Baltimore, Randallstown, Silver Spring)

ATMs: 6 (Baltimore, Randallstown) and ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, installment loans, VIP loans, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, check card, ATM card

Read Insider’s full review of The Harbor Bank of Maryland here.

Massachusetts

OneUnited Bank

Branches: 3 (Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury)

ATMs: Any one of over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, home loans, multifamily loans

Community outreach: OneUnited Bank provides contributions focused on four major areas: financial literacy, general literacy, affordable housing, and community development. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of OneUnited Bank here. 

Michigan

ABD Federal Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Detroit, Warren) and any branch in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000 additional no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, share certificates, individual retirement accounts, credit cards, debit/ATM card, auto loans, home equity loans, student loans, online banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: ABD Federal Credit Union has helped with projects like Habitat for Humanity and local soup kitchens. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of ABD Federal Credit Union here.

First Independence Bank

Branches: 2 (Detroit)

ATMs: 6 (Clinton Township, Detroit) or any nationwide FIB, Fifth Third, TCF, or Chemical Bank ATM

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, vehicle loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, home loans, personal loans, CD loans

Community outreach: First Independence Bank has established a millennial advisory board and sponsored a youth basketball clinic and tournament. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of First Independence Bank here.

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Detroit)

ATMs: 0

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

One Detroit Credit Union

Branches: 4 (Detroit, Highland Park) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 1 (Detroit) and 30,000 additional no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, credit builder loan, payday loans, bill consolidation loans, debit cards, ATM cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: One Detroit Credit Union sponsors gift and food drives to provide resources for families in need. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of One Detroit Credit Union here.

Minnesota

None

Mississippi

Hope Credit Union

Branches: 12 (Biloxi, Drew, Greenville, Itta Bena, Jackson, Louisville, Moorhead, Shaw, Terry, Utica, West Point) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network 

ATMs: 12 (Biloxi, Drew, Greenville, Itta Bena, Jackson, Louisville, Moorhead, Shaw, Terry, Utica, West Point) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, credit builder loans, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, savings/share certificate secured loans, signature loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Hope Credit Union provides funding for affordable housing and healthy-food programs, as well as leadership training opportunities. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Hope Credit Union here.

Jackson Area Federal Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Byram, Jackson)

ATMs: Any ATM in the Dolphin ATM Alliance or the Culiance network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, student loans, credit cards, debit cards, mobile banking, online banking

Read Insider’s full review of Jackson Area Federal Credit Union here.

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Jackson)

ATMs: 5 (Jackson)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

Missouri

Liberty Bank

Branches: 1 (Kansas City)

ATMs: 0

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Liberty Bank sponsors local neighborhood sports and provides affordable housing. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Liberty Bank here.

St. Louis Community Credit Union

Branches: 16 (Benton Park, Ferguson, Florissant, Jennings, Pagedale, Richmond Heights, St. John, St. Louis, Sullivan, University City, Wellston) and the branches in the CO-OP Connected Credit Unions network

ATMs: Any of the ATMs in the CO-OP Connected Credit Unions network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, personal loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, recreational vehicle/power sports loans, payday saver loans, home loans, credit cards, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: St. Louis Community Credit Union hosts an annual community service effort to work with local charities. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of St. Louis Community Credit Union here.

Montana

None

Nebraska

None

Nevada

None

New Hampshire

None

New Jersey

Andrews Federal Credit Union

Branches: 3 (Burlington, McGuire Air Force Base, Mt. Laurel) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards, gift cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, homeowners insurance, early direct deposit, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, overseas branches

Community outreach: Andrews Federal Credit Union sponsors 10 $2,000 college scholarships per year to help members pay for school costs. Learn more here

Read Insider’s full review of Andrews Federal Credit Union here.

Industrial Bank

Branches: 1 (Newark)

ATMs: 1 (Newark) and any ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, debit cards

Community outreach: Industrial Bank provides free financial literacy courses every year and participates in community service. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Industrial Bank here.

New Mexico

None

New York

Carver Federal Savings Bank

Branches: 7 (Brooklyn, Jamaica, New York City)

ATMs: 2 (New York City) and ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, landlord/tenant security accounts, debit cards, wire transfers, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, installment loans, lines of credit

Read Insider’s full review of Carver Federal Savings Bank here.

Industrial Bank

Branches: 1 (New York City)

ATMs: 1 (New York City) and any ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, debit cards

Community outreach: Industrial Bank provides free financial literacy courses every year and participates in community service. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Industrial Bank here.

North Carolina

Mechanics & Farmers Bank

Branches: 8 (Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem)

ATMs: 8 (Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem) and any ATM in the Wells Fargo network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, health savings accounts, personal loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit cards, mobile banking, online banking

Community outreach: Mechanics & Farmers Bank hosts financial literacy workshops and workshops to help business owners and community members understand opportunities available during the pandemic. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Mechanics & Farmers Bank here.

North Dakota

None

Ohio

None

Oklahoma

First Security Bank and Trust Company

Branches: 1 (Oklahoma City)

ATMs: 1 (Oklahoma City), Free ATMs at 7/11 locations

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, personal loans, home equity lines of credit, home loans, auto loans, boat loans, signature loans, debit/ATM cards, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of First Security Bank and Trust Company here.

Oregon

None

Pennsylvania

Democracy Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (Philadelphia) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money management accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, auto loans, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, recreational vehicle loans, share and secured loans, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Democracy Federal Credit Union here.

United Bank of Philadelphia

Branches: 2 (Philadelphia)

ATMs: 13 (Philadelphia)

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit building loans, check cards, online banking, telephone banking, banking by mail

Community outreach: United Bank of Philadelphia provides financing to small businesses to spur job growth. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of United Bank of Philadelphia here.

Rhode Island

None

South Carolina

Optus Bank

Branches: 1 (Columbia)

ATMs: 3 (Columbia), any ATM in the Wells Fargo network for free

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, auto loans, home loans, home equity lines of credit, line of credit loans, online banking, mobile banking

Read Insider’s full review of Optus Bank here.

Palmetto Health Credit Union

Branches: 4 (Columbia, Easley)

ATMs: 8 (Columbia, Easley) or any ATM in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, health savings accounts, auto loans, home loans, home equity lines of credit, line of credit loans, personal loans, student loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, debit cards, credit cards, insurance products

Read Insider’s full review of Palmetto Health Credit Union here.

South Dakota

None

Tennessee

Citizens Bank

Branches: 2 (Memphis, Nashville)

ATMs: 1 (Nashville) and you are reimbursed any fees from any ATM in the US or abroad

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, auto loans, credit cards, home loans, home equity loans, personal loans, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking

Read Insider’s full review of Citizens Bank here.

Hope Credit Union

Branches: 4 (Memphis) or any credit union in the Shared Branching Network 

ATMs: 4 (Memphis) or any ATM in the Shared Branching Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, money market accounts, personal loans, credit builder loans, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, home loans, savings/share certificate secured loans, signature loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Community outreach: Hope Credit Union provides funding for affordable housing and healthy-food programs, as well as leadership training opportunities. Read more here.

Read Insider’s full review of Hope Credit Union here.

Tri-State Bank of Memphis*

Tri-State was acquired by Liberty Bank in 2021. Current customers will receive new Liberty accounts and debit cards.

Branches: 1 (Memphis)

ATMs: 1 (Memphis) or any one of the ATMs in the Money Tower Network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, auto loans, credit cards, home loans, home equity loans, personal loans, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Tri-State Bank of Memphis here.

Texas

Unity National Bank

Branches: 2 (Houston, Missouri City)

ATMs: 2 (Houston, Missouri City) or any one of the ATMs in the Select ATM network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, faith-based organizational loans, online banking, mobile banking

Community outreach: Unity National Bank financially supports agencies like the YMCA, YWCA, NAACP, and United Negro College Fund. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Unity National Bank here.

Utah

None

Vermont

None

Virginia

Andrews Federal Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Alexandria, Springfield) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards, gift cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, homeowners insurance, early direct deposit, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, overseas branches

Community outreach: Andrews Federal Credit Union sponsors 10 $2,000 college scholarships per year to help members pay for school costs. Learn more here

Read Insider’s full review of Andrews Federal Credit Union here.

Democracy Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (Alexandria) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money management accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, auto loans, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, recreational vehicle loans, share and secured loans, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Democracy Federal Credit Union here.

Transit Employees Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (Alexandria) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: ATMs in the following networks: CO-OP, Star, CU24, Visa, Shared Branch, Transit Employees FCU  

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, loyalty loans, student loans, personal loans, signature loans, credit cards, gift cards, reloadable cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, secured loans, insurance products, wire transfers, mobile banking, online banking

Read Insider’s full review of Transit Employees Federal Credit Union here.

Washington

None

Washington DC

Andrews Federal Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Washington DC) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards, gift cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, homeowners insurance, early direct deposit, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, overseas branches

Community outreach: Andrews Federal Credit Union sponsors 10 $2,000 college scholarships pear year to help members pay for school costs. Learn more here

Read Insider’s full review of Andrews Federal Credit Union here.

Democracy Federal Credit Union

Branches: 2 (Washington DC) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: 30,000+ no-fee ATMS nationwide

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money management accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, auto loans, home loans, personal loans, credit cards, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, recreational vehicle loans, share and secured loans, mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking

Read Insider’s full review of Democracy Federal Credit Union here.

Industrial Bank

Branches: 3 (Washington DC)

ATMs: 9 (Washington DC) and any ATMs in the Allpoint network

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, home loans, online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, debit cards

Community outreach: Industrial Bank provides free financial literacy courses every year and participates in community service. Read more here

Read Insider’s full review of Industrial Bank here.

Transit Employees Federal Credit Union

Branches: 1 (Washington DC) and the branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network

ATMs: ATMs in the following networks: CO-OP, Star, CU24, Visa, Shared Branch, Transit Employees FCU  

Services: Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, share certificates, vehicle loans, loyalty loans, student loans, personal loans, signature loans, credit cards, gift cards, reloadable cards, home loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, secured loans, insurance products, wire transfers, mobile banking, online banking

Read Insider’s full review of Transit Employees Federal Credit Union here.

West Virginia

None

Wisconsin

Columbia Savings and Loan Association

Branches: 1 (Milwaukee)

ATMs: 0

Services: Certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, home loans, church loans

Read Insider’s full review of Columbia Savings and Loan Association here.

Wyoming

None

]]>
Personify Personal Loans Review 2022 https://perbaccocellars.com/personify-personal-loans-review-2022/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:23 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1166 Editorial Independence We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money. Personify Financial, owned by Applied Data Finance, LLC, provides personal loans […]]]>

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Personify Financial, owned by Applied Data Finance, LLC, provides personal loans to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. Qualified applicants can borrow up to $15,000 and have up to four years to repay the loan. The company currently offers loans in 27 states, and it works with First Electronic Bank in some areas to originate loans. 

While people in need of quick cash may find Personify Financial appealing, we can’t recommend borrowing from this lender because of its sky-high interest rates and fees. Depending on your state, APRs can be as high as 199.99%. 

Personify Financial is also one of the lenders listed on the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) high-cost rent-a-bank watch list. According to the NCLC, some lenders use the legally grey strategy of rent-a-bank schemes to get around state interest rate caps. 

Applied Data Finance, Personify Financial’s parent company, was the subject of two class action lawsuits — one in Washington filed January 2020 and one in Florida filed May 2020 — for charging interest rates and fees that exceeded the states’ interest rate caps and attempting to circumvent state usury laws via a rent-a-bank scheme with a bank chartered in Utah (a state with no interest rate caps). We reached out to Applied Data Finance for an official statement but have not yet received a response as of the time of publication. 

If you decide to take out a loan from Personify Financial, have a plan in place to pay off the debt as quickly as possible. However, we recommend that you exhaust all alternatives before turning to this lender. Even if you have poor credit, you may still be able to find a loan with lower interest rates and fees from another lender. 

What to Know Before Getting a Personal Loan

Personal loans can give you quick access to a lump sum of cash for many different purposes, from covering emergency expenses to consolidating debt to paying for large purchases. Personal loan rates and terms can vary widely from lender to lender. What interest rate you receive is dependent on your credit score, selected loan term and amount, and other factors like the presence of collateral or whether you have a cosigner on your application.

Pro Tip

If you have poor credit and cannot qualify for a loan on your own or can only get a loan with a very high interest rate, consider asking a friend or relative with good credit to cosign your loan application. Having a cosigner can increase your chances of qualifying for a loan, and you can often get a lower interest rate than you’d get by applying on your own.

Personal loans can be unsecured or secured. Unsecured loans don’t require you to provide any form of collateral. With secured loans, you have to give the lender some form of property that acts as security for the loan. Secured loans often have lower interest rates than unsecured loans, but the lender can take your collateral and resell it to recoup their money if you fall behind on your payments. 

Before signing a loan agreement, make sure to shop around and compare offers from multiple personal loan lenders to ensure you get the best deal. Review the loan fee disclosures so that you know what you’ll owe each month, what you’ll repay over the life of the loan, and what fees — including late fees, origination fees, and prepayment fees — to expect. 

Alternatives to Personal Loans

Although a personal loan can be a convenient way to finance purchases, consolidate your debt, or cover emergency expenses, there may be other options that are a better fit for your personal financial situation and goals: 

  • A home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you own a home and have built equity in your house, you can get access to either a lump sum of cash or a revolving line of credit through a home equity loan or a HELOC, respectively. Your home secures these forms of credit, so you may get a lower interest rate than you’d get with a personal loan. However, you risk the bank foreclosing on your home if you can’t keep up with payments. 
  • A balance transfer credit card. If you have good credit and want to consolidate high-interest debt, you may be eligible for a balance transfer credit card. With this approach, you can transfer your existing credit card balances to a new card with a 0% APR intro offer. Balance transfer cards offer 0% APR for a set introductory period, typically ranging from 12 to 18 months, giving you time to pay off your debt without interest. 
  • A payday alternative loan (PAL). If you need a relatively small amount to cover an unexpected expense, some credit unions offer PALs. You can borrow up to $2,000 and have up to six months to repay the loan. The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) limits how much credit unions can charge in interest; as of 2021, the interest rate cap is 28%. 
  • Savings. If at all possible, tap into your savings rather than take on debt. If you’re planning for a non-emergency expense, you can set aside money from every paycheck until you reach your goal. It’s also wise to build an emergency fund to give you a cushion against unexpected expenses. 
  • Credit counseling. If you’re trying to get a handle on your debt and aren’t sure where to start, meet with a counselor from a non-profit credit counseling organization. The counselor can help you create a budget, identify areas to cut back, and even negotiate with your creditors. To find a reputable agency, contact your state attorney general or search through the list of approved agencies on the U.S. Trustee Program website

Pros and Cons of Personify Financial

Cons

  • Only available in 27 states
  • APRs as high as 199.99%
  • May charge origination fees in some states
  • Not the direct lender in some states
  • Cosigners not accepted

Personify Financial Compared to Other Lenders

Personify Financial RocketLoans Avant
Loan Term Range 1 to 4 years (varies by state) 3 to 5 years 2 to 5 years
Loan Amount $500 to $15,000 (varies by state) $2,000 to $45,000 $2,000 to $35,000
Credit Score Needed 500 540 580
Prepayment Penalty None None None
Origination Fee Up to 5% of loan amount (varies by state) 1% to 6% of loan amount Up to 4.75%
Unsecured or Secured Debt Unsecured Unsecured Unsecured
The NextAdvisor editorial team updates this information regularly, though it is possible that certain loan and fee details have changed since this page was last updated. For the most up-to-date information about APRs, fees, and other loan details, check with the lender directly. Also, some loan offerings may vary depending on your location.

Who Should Get a Personify Loan

When you’re in a financial bind, a loan from Personify Financial can seem tempting. The lender offers loan disbursements within one business day, requires a minimum VantageScore of just 500, and doesn’t have an income requirement. 

However, you should exhaust all other options before turning to Personify or other high-cost lenders. With its sky-high APRs and origination fees, you could end up paying much more than you initially borrowed. Consider this example, calculated with NextAdvisor’s loan calculator: 

Jeff takes out a $2,000 loan and qualifies for a three-year term. The interest rate on his loan is 150%, and a 5% origination fee is deducted from the loan amount. If he makes his minimum payments every month and pays off his loan as scheduled, Jeff will pay a total of $9,131.54 — of which over $7,000 is interest. 

Repayment of a $2,000 Personal Loan
Loan amount $2,000.00
Loan term 3 Years
Interest rate 150.00%
Origination fee (deducted from the loan amount) $100.00
Minimum monthly payment $253.65
Total interest $7,131.54
Total repaid $9,131.54

With such high rates, taking out a loan from Personify can make it difficult to get out of debt. Because of this, we don’t recommend Personify loans — and other high-interest loans — unless there is no other option available. 

If you do have to take out a Personify loan, develop a plan for paying it off and, if possible, pay more than the minimum amount each month to eliminate the loan faster and reduce the total amount interest you’ll pay. Personify doesn’t charge any prepayment fees, so you won’t be penalized for paying your loan off early. 

Alternatives to a Personify Loan

To get money for an emergency expense or other time-sensitive issue, consider these alternatives before applying for a Personify personal loan: 

  • Seek help from friends and family. While asking relatives and loved ones for money may not be ideal, a small loan from a friend or family member can be a much better option than a high-interest loan. If you go this route, make sure the two of you agree on loan repayment terms and stick to a payment plan that works for both of you. 
  • Research local assistance programs. You may be eligible for non-profit assistance programs in your area. Depending on your situation, you could get help with housing, food, transportation, or even childcare costs. Contact 2-1-1 to find resources near you. 
  • Sell unused items. If you have unused clothing, electronics, books, toys, or furniture in your home, you can sell them to get money fast. 
  • Apply for a bad credit loan. Some personal loan lenders specialize in loans for people with poor to fair credit. With many of them, interest rates are capped at 36% — the maximum rate the NCLC says lenders can charge and still give people a reasonable chance to repay the loan on time.  

How to Qualify for a Personify Loan

When evaluating your application, Personify will look at the following: 

  • Income. The lender will ask for information about your employment and income. 
  • Bank account. You’ll need a valid checking account in your name.  
  • Credit report. Personify will check your credit report and look at your total outstanding debts and payment history. 
  • Location. You must be a resident in one of the states where Personify operates. As of September 2021, Personify loans are available in: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

When it comes to credit score, a company representative said that Personify looks at your VantageScore. Borrowers must have a VantageScore over 500 to qualify for a loan. 

Personify doesn’t have a specific minimum income requirement. When we reached out to the company for details, a representative said: “There is not a minimum income, but we require applicants to show sufficient income to repay the loan, as reflected in the minimum payment and debt-to-income ratios.”

All Personify loans are unsecured, and the lender doesn’t allow cosigners or co-borrowers. 

How to Apply for a Personify Loan

We don’t recommend taking out a loan from Personify Financial. However, you may decide to do so if you need money quickly and have already explored all other options. If that’s the case, you can use the company’s prequalification tool to find out if you’re eligible for a loan and what rate you’ll receive without undergoing a hard credit inquiry. 

If you decide to proceed with your loan application, the company will ask you for your contact information, photo identification, employer details, and your checking account and routing numbers.  

You’ll receive a loan agreement detailing your loan amount, repayment terms, and total repayment cost. Before the loan can be disbursed, you must read and sign the agreement. Once you send the signed agreement back, Personify will issue the loan. Depending on when you sign the agreement, you could receive your funds as soon as the next day. 

Personify FAQs

Is Personify good for personal loans?

We don’t recommend Personify Financial due to its high APRs, origination fees, and because it’s included on the NCLC’s high-cost rent-a-bank watchlist. In addition, Personify Financial’s parent company, Applied Finance, LLC, was subject to two class action lawsuits (one in Florida filed May 2020 and one in Washington in filed January 2020) for its business practices, high APRs that exceeded state interest rate caps, and engagement in rent-a-bank schemes to circumvent state usury laws. Applied Finance, LLC could not be reached for comment.

What credit score do you need for a Personify loan?

A company representative said that Personify requires applicants to have a VantageScore over 500 to qualify for a loan.

Can I get a Personify personal loan with bad credit?

You may qualify for a Personify loan with bad credit. To qualify, you must have a score over 500, which is in the “poor” range, according to credit bureau Experian.

Does a Personify loan hurt your credit?

Whenever you apply for a personal loan, your credit score may be impacted in several ways:

  • New account. When you take out a loan, a new credit account will appear on your credit report. New accounts play a small role in determining your VantageScore.
  • Improved credit mix. Your credit mix — the different types of credit you manage, such as credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages — is highly influential for the VantageScore model. By taking out an installment loan, you can improve your credit mix.
  • Payment history. Your payment history is moderately influential under the VantageScore model. If you make all of your Personify personal loan payments on time, you can boost your credit over time.
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Planning to Use a Cash-Advance App? Beware of the High Cost https://perbaccocellars.com/planning-to-use-a-cash-advance-app-beware-of-the-high-cost/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 06:57:19 +0000 https://perbaccocellars.com/?p=1175 Download the Dave app on your smartphone, as millions of people already have, and you’ll be greeted by an anthropomorphic bear wearing thick-rimmed glasses and holding a pawful of cash. The friendly, upright ursid wants to help you get your finances on track. To do so, the digital financial services app will let you take […]]]>

Download the Dave app on your smartphone, as millions of people already have, and you’ll be greeted by an anthropomorphic bear wearing thick-rimmed glasses and holding a pawful of cash.

The friendly, upright ursid wants to help you get your finances on track. To do so, the digital financial services app will let you take out a cash advance of up to $250 with no interest. Asterisk. You’ll avoid overdraft fees. Asterisk. And get paid up to two days sooner. Asterisk.

Dave, founded in 2017 and backed by celebrity entrepreneur Mark Cuban, is expected to go public this quarter. It’s one of several fintech startups that offer “interest-free” cash advances, though the companies do make money through a combination of fees, tips or both, hence all the asterisks. The financial apps Earnin and Brigit work similarly, sans the animal mascots. The companies say they’re ushering in the end of predatory payday loans and overdraft fees, and they’ve been gaining popularity throughout the pandemic as cash-strapped users seek out fast funds.

However, consumer experts warn their fees are just as bad as — if not worse than — traditional payday loan APRs, with rates that can easily top 300%. And, they say, the apps can actually trigger overdraft fees. Policymakers are caught in the middle, mulling over how exactly to regulate them. They’re taking a hands-off approach — at least for now.

Dave’s cash-advance service is just one of the app’s many financial features. The app itself is available for free. But the cash advance portion requires a membership fee of $1 per month, which the company says goes toward linking your bank account.

Once you take out a cash advance, the app prompts you to leave a tip, saying that Dave donates tip money to feed families in need. The recommended tipping amounts default to percentages — 5%, 10% or 15%. (“Tips are completely voluntary,” says Dave spokesperson Danny O’Keefe.)

Yet the techniques Dave and similar companies use to present their voluntary-tipping features are also raising red flags with consumer advocates.

“Some of these applications use some behavioral marketing to incentivize people to pay more,” says Charla Rios, a small-dollar loan researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending. “The more you tip, the happier the cartoon bear is, and that kind of thing.”

With Dave, you can set custom tipping amounts on a scale of 0% to 25% in the settings menu, except the percentages in this menu are now referred to as “healthy meals.” As you increase your tip, you’ll see a young animated girl in a bear shirt grow excited as she’s surrounded by fruit, veggies and bread. Move the tip all the way to zero, and all you’ll see is an empty plate.

O’Keefe confirmed that a portion of tips — not the whole sum — goes to Dave’s non-profit partner Feeding America. The company has provided about 31 million meals through the partnership and made more than $5 million in total charitable contributions, he says.

In Earnin’s case, there’s no monthly membership fee. If you take out a cash advance (of up to $500), the app prompts you to “pay it forward” by associating its tips with helping other Earnin users, who are represented by cutesy avatars of ninjas and astronauts. A $5 tip will help one user, the app says. A $10 tip will help two users, and so on.

It’s possible to skirt tipping altogether, but only if you know to tap “custom tip” and manually change the tipping dial to zero. According to the New York Post, not tipping previously had consequences: Earnin used to limit the amount of cash advances to New York users who did not tip. The company reportedly halted the “pay-to-play” practice in New York in 2019 under regulatory pressure.

In a statement to Money, Earnin wrote that tipping behavior and history are not used as criteria to determine cash-advance availability or amounts. The company did not elaborate on when or where the practice, as described by the Post, was in effect.

The Brigit app, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on the tip-based model. Instead, it charges users a $9.99 monthly membership fee to become eligible for a cash advance of up to $250 — as well as a host of other budgeting and credit score tracking features. The monthly fee applies regardless of whether users take out an advance or not. Brigit did not respond to Money’s request for comment.

A regulatory battle over the definition of ‘credit’

Consumer advocates say that apps like Dave and Earnin point to the voluntary nature of their tipping and fee structures to avoid being classified as credit products. That allows them to play by different rules than traditional creditors.

But regulatory guidance on newer fintech companies that offer cash advances and similar products has been somewhat mixed. As it stands, consumers currently don’t receive the same federal protections for a cash advance from a company like Earnin as they would for a cash advance or loan from a more traditional lender — from, say, a credit card company like Chase or even a payday lender like Amscot.

So how are they regulated? “That’s a good question,” says Lauren Saunders, an associate director at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). “They’re not, really.”

That’s because, in late 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued advisory guidance, concluding that payday advances from fintech companies generally aren’t considered credit, as defined by federal law. Therefore, the fintech lenders aren’t required to disclose the fees associated with advances in terms of APRs, or annual percentage rates.

The focus of the CFPB’s guidance was mostly on payroll advance services through companies like PayActiv. Such companies market themselves as an employee perk by partnering directly with employers, as opposed to the apps that are marketed directly to consumers.

All of these companies loosely fit under the umbrella of earned wage access, early wage advances or payday advances. (They go by many names.) Consumer advocates break them into two core categories: The employer-partnership model — the PayActivs — and the direct-to-consumer model — the Daves.

While consumer advocates do have a bone to pick with the employer-partnership model, they stress that the CFPB’s guidance for that model has a rippling effect on the far riskier direct-to-consumer apps.

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the NCLC and 94 other consumer, faith and labor organizations wrote a letter to the CFPB in October, asking the agency to rescind its opinions and regulate fintech payday products as credit. Lobbyists for the fintech lending industry, the organizations wrote, are using the CFPB’s actions to argue for further exemptions from state lending laws.

While federal regulators have so far gone the laissez-faire route, state regulators are also grappling with the same questions.

The New York Department of Financial Services, in tandem with 10 other states and Puerto Rico, launched an ongoing investigation to determine if fintech lenders are skirting state lending rules. Some of the firms appear to collect “usurious” interest rates in “the guise of ‘tips’” or monthly membership fees, the DFS said in announcing the investigation in 2019.

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On the other side of the country, California’s Department of Financial Protections and Innovation signed an agreement earlier this year with Earnin and four similar fintechs, exempting them from state APR disclosure requirements for now. In the meantime, the agency is collecting and analyzing quarterly reports from the companies to determine the “risk and benefits to California consumers.”

Congress is also entering the fray to determine how such companies should be regulated, if at all. The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing in November to investigate the risks and benefits of fintech companies that offer cash advances and similar credit-like products.

“Shiny fintech garb does not remove the need for basic consumer protections,” Saunders, of the NCLC, testified at the hearing. “Earned wage access products are a form of payday loan — wage advances repaid on payday — and should be regulated as credit.”

Fees and tips — or sky-high loan APRs?

When you order lunch through Uber, a nearby food courier scrambles to grab your food and deliver it to your doorstep. After you place your order, Uber prompts you to leave a tip of 15% or 20%, which you can change depending on how good a job you think the courier did.

Apps like Dave and Earnin prompt you to tip in very similar ways. On the user side, whether it’s Uber or Earnin, it’s just a quick couple taps on your smartphone all the same. But Saunders says consumers should view the tips on cash advances very differently.

“The tip isn’t going to a human being who gave you a service,” she says. “It’s going to a big company that’s making money and is just using tips as a form of interest.”

Money lending is typically viewed in terms of APRs so consumers can compare products with different fees or interest rates in a standardized way.

But “the tips model can really add up in ways that are not apparent,” Saunders says.

Take, for instance, the 10% or 15% tips suggested by cash-advance apps. Those are simple percentages that don’t factor in time like APR does. Viewed through the lens of APR, those voluntary tips and fees could easily translate into three-digit APRs.

“Default tips on most of these apps are equivalent to interest rates that can be 200% or 300% APR or higher,” Saunders says.

For example, if you tip 15% on a $100 advance that you use to tide you over for two weeks until your next payday, that would equate to an APR of 391%. And that’s not including all of the other fees that could apply.

For instance, a cash advance through both Dave or Earnin may take several business days to hit your bank account by default. To expedite your advance, they charge you extra: Dave’s fees range from $1.99 to $5.99, depending on the advanced amount ($5.99 for an advance of $100 or more), and Earnin charges a flat “Lightning Speed” fee of $2.99, no matter the amount. (According to Earnin, the fee is voluntary, part of a “small test” and not available to all Earnin users. The company will refund it if the advance doesn’t transfer on time.)

A 14-day, $100 immediate cash advance through Dave — including its $1 membership fee and a 15% tip — would translate into an APR of over 573% if the apps were subject to the same rules as other payday lending products. According to state-by-state rules from the Consumer Federation of America, a 573% APR for a $100, 14-day loan from a traditional payday lender would violate lending laws in more than 30 states.

“That is an example of why it should be a regulated product, because it is a form of credit at this point,” says Rios of CRL.

Rios also warns of additional fees, beyond the sky-high APRs, associated with cash-advance apps. For example, despite their marketing as overdraft avoidance tools, the apps may actually trigger overdraft fees from your bank. That’s because when the time comes to pay back your advance, the lending apps may automatically deduct the funds from your bank account — regardless of whether enough funds are available.

Following a class action lawsuit settled in March, Earnin was ordered to pay $3 million to users who were charged overdraft fees. Earnin denied any wrongdoing in the settlement.

“If we trigger an overdraft due to an error on our part, Earnin will cover the fee,” the company wrote in its statement to Money.

Consumer advocates, including Rios and Saunders, stress that app-based cash advances should be used only as a last resort, and preferably not at all. They’re calling for stronger consumer protection rules to help keep everyday borrowers from racking up unexpected fees and paying three-digit APRs.

Saunders says that there is “a lot of interest” from lawmakers and regulators regarding this new breed of fintech lenders, pointing to the multi-state investigation led by New York’s financial regulators as well as the recent House committee hearing. However, neither have led to clear next steps in terms of policy change.

For now, she says, the ball is in the CFPB’s court.

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