Workers with low or no credit scores lack access to affordable sources of credit and alternatives to high-cost and risky payday loans. Employer-sponsored small-dollar loans (ESSDLs) give workers an affordable credit option to help them cope with major financial emergencies (e.g., car repair) or make large, irregular purchases (e.g., a major household appliance).

In this project, I’m partnering with Filene Research Institute (the research arm of the credit union movement in the U.S.) to better understand the ESSDL landscape by analyzing administrative data from credit unions offering these loans, interviewing employers and other key stakeholders, and analyzing worker/borrower survey data.

Our findings will have important implications concerning the role of credit unions in providing safe and affordable credit options and consumer protection law and regulations.