University of Notre Dame Breaks the Chains of Predatory Lending

Have you ever wondered what happens when an individual takes a payday loan? Typically, payday lenders  issue an individual a loan with a large interest rate payable on the borrower’s payday. If the borrower cannot repay the loan, the lender collects interest and fees and changes the repayment date of the loan to the following payday.  Since the average borrower rolls a loan for four months, the loan often more than doubles in price due to high interest rates and fees. According to University of Notre Dame, this structure costs South Bend, Indiana’s poor $3.5 million in interest fees in a given year. Given their knowledge about this injustice, some Notre Dame students have created an alternative.

In a recently published article, Notre Dame highlights the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI), a student run initiative with the mission to “create an alternative to the predatory lending industry in South Bend.”  Since its inception in February 2012, JIFFI has provided a total of twenty-nine loans and hopes to provide 20 more this year.

In the article, Lisa McDaniel, the group’s first client, says, “‘JIFFI deserves a big thank you from the community. […] It’s fantastic if they help others as much as they’ve helped me.'” Read the full article to learn more about JIFFI.

How does your campus work towards economic justice?  Let us know!