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November 2016 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Thank You for Submitting Comments to Strengthen Payday Lending Regulations

RAISE Texas would like to thank all of its network members and those organizations and individuals around the state and country that took the time to submit comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in support of stronger regulations on payday and auto-title lenders. An estimated 1.4 million comments were submitted to the CFPB in response to this rulemaking- although the opinions of those comments differ. Members of the Texas Legislature weighed in with their comments. Politico wrote about the large amount of comments in a recent article.

Have YOU Read In Pursuit of Financial Well-Being: A Conversation on Fairness, Accessibility, and Empowerment?
This summer Shelterforce had a conversation with asset-building leaders across the nation to discuss the growing financial complexities of our world and how to combat financial insecurity. Our very own, Woody Widrow, is one of the leaders that took part in the conversation, along with Holly Frindell, NALCAB; Andrea Levere, CFED; Andrea Luquetta-Kern, California Reinvestment Coalition; and Ann Solomon, Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Click here to read the conversation.

Texas News

New Article by Dallas Fed Features Updates on and Alternatives to Payday Lending

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas featured a new article in their Perspectives, “New Era for Payday Lending: Regulation, Innovation and the Road Ahead”. This article gives an overview of Texas’ payday lending field. Including: recent changes to local ordinances, new proposed federal regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and low-cost alternatives in Texas and across the country. Click here to read the article.

Save the Date for Texas Statewide Homebuyer Education Program for 2017

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) has released the Texas Statewide Homebuyer Education Program schedule for 2017. Registration information will be available soon. For now, read about the courses and save the dates for the following trainings:

Match the Promise Foundation Scholarships Available- Apply Now!

The Match the Promise Foundation encourages families to save for college by supplementing their contributions to the Texas Tuition Promise Fund®. Approved recipients can receive matching scholarships of tuition units worth up to $1,000 at today's prices, and top-scoring recipients can also receive one-time grants of tuition units worth $2,000 at today's prices.

To apply, children must meet these criteria:

  • Be a fifth through ninth grader
  • Have a family with an annual income of $100,000 or less
  • Be a Texas resident
  • Be enrolled in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund
Eligible applicants may apply for Match the Promise scholarships between Sept. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. Families may also enroll in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund during this time if they haven't already done so.

National News and Resources

CFPB Releases New Financial Coaching Publications

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released two briefs about how financial coaching benefits consumers. The first brief, Financial Coaching: A Strategy to Improve Financial Well-Being summarizes the Urban Institutes’ evaluation of two major financial coaching programs and explains the findings. The second brief, Implementing Financial Coaching: Implications for Practitioners, discussed the implications from the study for financial education practitioners.

Congratulations to José A. Quiñonez, a 2016 MacArthur Fellow

José A. Quiñonez is the CEO of Mission Asset Fund, based in San Francisco, California. Mission Asset Fund helps low-income immigrants avoid predatory lending services by giving them access to credit in the financial mainstream. This is done through Lending Circles, a small group of people who give a specific amount of money each month, and then each person gets a monthly loan for the full amount invested each month. Mission Asset Fund makes sure that these informal loans are reported to the credit bureau to help low-income individuals build and repair their credit. Click here to read a great interview by PBS’s Kristen Doerer with José A. Quiñonez.

Blog: Starting the College Conversation Early

The Squared Away Blog posted an article about how parents can start to prepare to pay for college early to help minimize college costs after their child’s high school graduation. This post interviews Judith Ward, a senior financial planner for T. Rowe Price. Click here to read Ward’s advice for figuring out how to pay for college.

Legislation Passed to Help California Workers Save for Retirement

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation that will establish the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. The Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program is a state retirement plan that will give almost 7 million Californians access to safe, portable and automatic Individual Retirement Accounts. Click here to learn more about this new retirement savings program.

CFPB Looking for 30 Organizations to Use Financial Empowerment Toolkit in 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking for 30 organizations from around the country who are interested in using the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit to help their clients build financial capability. Members of the 2017 Your Money, Your Goals Cohort will receive training, toolkits and technical assistance to support the implementation of Your Money, Your Goals. To apply, send a Letter of Interest to YourMoneyYourGoals@consumerfinance.gov by November 30, 2016 with the subject line Your Money, Your Goals 2017.

Employment First Framework Implemented by the DOL
It has taken time, but there has been more and more success in the efforts to increase the amount of allowable assets for those receiving benefits and social security. Assets such as a home or an education are important to people living and working in their community, but the income from employment is essential to build and maintain these assets. The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy is investing in systems change efforts to help increase employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. Employment First, a framework for systems change, centers on the premise that all citizens are capable of full participation in employment and community life. Implementing Employment First strategies can expedite access to employment and help individuals retain their financial wellbeing within their communities. Click here for more information.