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Small-Dollar Credit: A Research Discussion with Banks

Low-income families use small-dollar loans for a diversity of needs, such as covering emergency expenses or patching income shocks. Providers, meanwhile, face the challenge of underwriting profitable small-dollar loans to consumers who often have no or limited credit histories. This roundtable presented both consumer and provider perspectives on small-dollar credit products, and brought researchers and industry practitioners together to exchange knowledge, with the aim of developing products that address these challenges. 

I.  Bank Overview of their Small-Dollar Consumers and Products          

II.  Understanding Small-Dollar Consumer Needs

This session reviewed what current data say about small-dollar credit consumers. Who are they? What are their needs? Why do they use these products?

III. Product Features: Consumer Perspective

This session explored which features appeal to consumers, as well as approaches to transition consumers from borrowing to saving and improving their credit scores.

IV. Product Features: Industry Perspective

This session addressed the challenges of profitably providing small-dollar credit to consumers. How can providers best underwrite and price their products?

V. Tying it Together

This session explored how to jointly meet the needs of consumers and providers. 


Small-Dollar Credit: Consumer Needs and Industry Challenges

Date & Time Thursday, January 16, 2014
2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
, DC , 20037
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  • Vice President, Labor, Human Services, and Population
    Codirector, Opportunity and Ownership initiative
  • Affiliated Scholar