For theÂ credit card industry every week is â€œShark Week.â€Â Like a Great White shark investigating a school of financially insecure fish they know where to find the people who â€œneedâ€ them the most.
Hence the term: â€œpredatory lending.â€ They know those with the weakest bank statement (if they have a bank account at all) make the best prey.
The ability toÂ stay away from credit cardsÂ is a privilege, as is being offered banking products, including checking accounts. Indeed, minorities and women have historically been shut out of the products others take for granted. And this problem was one of the excuses used by the industry to deregulate and â€œdemocratizeâ€ credit. But as access to credit and banking expanded, so did predatory practices. As the CFPB tries to rein them in, it risks shutting people out all over again.
Studies show that just like theÂ mortgage industry, the credit card business is awash in racist policies. According to Andrea Freeman, law professor at California Western School of Law and author of a 2010 study calledÂ Credit Card Ills, there are many dangers for the black community when it comes to credit.