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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Credit

Credit & Domestic Violence
Survivors of domestic violence often face barriers to economic self-sufficiency, and many find themselves unable to leave an abusive partner – or forced to return – for economic reasons. The following resources provide basic information on credit and credit scoring, and are tailored to providing survivors with tools they need to obtain economic self-sufficiency.

csaj.pngThe Center for Survivor Agency and Justice (CSAJ), a national organization dedicated to enhancing advocacy for survivors of intimate partner violence, hosted a webinar series on credit. The organization has made available the recordings and presentations from this series. Specific topics covered include:

  • Credit Reporting and Repair for Survivors: This webinar is designed to help survivors recognize credit-related economic abuse; understand credit reports, credit scores, and their purpose; protect future credit and identity; dispute and rebuild credit reports; understand credit reporting laws, rights, and new developments; and craft strategies to address credit-related challenges.
  • Credit Checks: An Illegitimate Barrier to Employment for Survivors: This webinar is designed to help survivors understand the connection between credit and employment access in the context of survivors’ lives; describe the practice of and current policies related to employment credit checks; discuss individual advocacy strategies to enhance access to employment for survivors based on credit; and develop community and systems change strategies to remove credit-related barriers to employment for survivors.
  • The Use of Identity Theft by Domestic Violence Perpetrators: This webinar focuses on the use of identity theft by domestic violence perpetrators as a method of power and control.
About Credit Reports/Scores and Building & Repairing Credit
A credit report is a written compilation of information collected by one of three predominant nationwide credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. A credit score is a single number, usually between 350-850 that lenders frequently use to help them decide a person’s ability to repay their debts. Items found below include fact sheets and documents that inform consumers about what they need to know about credit reports, scores, and building and repairing credit histories.
Laws and Regulations on Credit
The following resources provide basic information, as well as specific text, on federal laws related to credit, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Credit Counseling
In addition to describing the credit counseling process, the following resources can help connect consumers to reputable credit counseling agencies or organizations.
Credit Discrimination and Predatory & Payday Lending
Fair and equitable access to credit is one aspect of credit discrimination. Cost of credit is also part of credit discrimination. Items listed in this section are focused on protections against credit discrimination, as well as predatory practices involving mortgage lending and payday loans. A “predatory loan,” as defined by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, has one or more of the following features: (1) charges more in interest and fees than is required to cover the added risk of lending to borrowers with credit imperfections; (2) contains abusive terms and conditions that trap borrowers and lead to increased indebtedness; (3) does not take into account the borrower’s ability to repay the loan; and (4) often violates fair lending laws by targeting women, minorities, and communities of color.
Credit & Housing
The following resources detail the rights of survivors of domestic violence who are seeking housing, as well as statistics on home ownership.

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