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Overdraft U: Student Bank Accounts Often Loaded With High Overdraft Fees

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Overdraft U: Student Bank Accounts Often Loaded With High Overdraft Fees
Source: Center for Responsible Lending

Some colleges and banks enter into exclusive agreements to offer students checking accounts – usually these accounts come furnished with a debit card that prominently displays the school logo and can sometimes be used as student ID.

For banks, these exclusive agreements mean a captive audience for their bank products (checking accounts, credit card accounts) and usually a customer for life. Studies suggest that banks are a “sticky” product – once a consumer chooses one, they’re unlikely to change.

For colleges, these exclusive agreements mean increased revenue. These partnerships may include revenue sharing (based on the number of accounts opened by their students) and/or in-kind benefits (like the bank offering to manage the school’s financial aid disbursement).

The benefits to students are unclear at best. Some schools negotiate for some reductions in up-front costs (like waiving monthly maintenance fees), but – as this report shows – many of these accounts do not have better terms than what a student could find on their own.

Payday Mayday: Visible and Invisible Payday Lending Defaults

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Payday Mayday: Visible and Invisible Payday Lending Defaults
Source: Center for Responsible Lending

This paper’s findings highlight that the lack of underwriting for payday loans creates economic distress for borrowers from the very first loan:

  • Nearly half of all payday borrowers defaulted within two years of their first loan.
  • Of borrowers who defaulted, nearly half did so within the first two payday loans.
  • Default does not necessarily signal the end of payday borrowing, with many defaulters going on to repay their loan and even borrow (and possibly default) again at a later date.
  • Nearly one in five borrowers had a loan charged off by the lender.
  • One-third of payday borrowers experienced at least one invisible default in which their account was overdrawn on the same day that they made a payment to a payday lender.
  • For payday borrowers, overdrafts and bounced transactions frequently occurred close in time to the use of payday loans. Nearly half of payday borrowers incurred an overdraft or NSF fee in the two weeks after a payday loan transaction, and 64% paid overdraft or NSF fees at some point.

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

This report by workforce experts Stephen A. Wandner, David E. Balducchi, and Christopher J. O’Leary undertakes a selective review of public workforce development programs in the United States over the last eighty years with a special emphasis on their importance to older Americans.

Particular attention is paid to services benefitting dislocated workers—that is, experienced adults permanently separated from their prior employers. The Employment Service and the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker programs serve the greatest number of older workers.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program and the very small Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program (now called Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance) are the only programs targeted specifically to older workers.

The policy options presented in the paper go beyond changes to the public workforce system embodied in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014

May 22, 2015 Comments off

American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety/Urban Institute

On behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Urban Institute conducts a continuous survey to measure the driving behavior of the American public. The American Driving Survey is a national survey of persons 16 and over who drive of light vehicles (autos, SUVs, trucks) and reside in households with landline telephone service and/or cellular telephones. The survey commenced in May 2013 and is ongoing. The results of the first year’s data collection are presented in this report.

Job Lock and Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Evidence from the Literature

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Job Lock and Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Evidence from the Literature
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

This report, written by Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, reviews the research literature on health insurance-related “job lock”—a labor market pattern that occurs when workers are reluctant to leave a job that offers health insurance because they cannot otherwise obtain affordable insurance. Based on the research, the author concludes that the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market reforms should have substantial, positive labor market effects.

The report reviews the research on three types of job lock:

  • Workers remaining in jobs in which they are not satisfied because of the fear of not being able to get health insurance at a new job (or not being able to buy or afford it in the individual market);
  • Workers being reluctant to start a business because they do not want to lose employer-provided health insurance; and
  • Workers staying employed (or employed full time) in order to obtain employer-sponsored insurance, when they would otherwise prefer to retire or work part time.

All three types of job lock are likely to be reduced by the Affordable Care Act, resulting in important gains for workers, families, and the economy.

Non-Group Health Insurance: Many Insured Americans with High Out-of-Pocket Costs Forgo Needed Health Care

May 15, 2015 Comments off

Non-Group Health Insurance: Many Insured Americans with High Out-of-Pocket Costs Forgo Needed Health Care
Source: Families USA

The Affordable Care Act has increased access to health insurance and financial assistance for millions of Americans. But even with the new assistance that helps consumers pay their premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs, one-quarter of consumers who buy insurance on their own still have problems being able to afford needed care.

This report looks at the portion of adults who went without needed medical care because they could not afford it, as well as the possible causes of those affordability issues. We also discuss actions that health insurers and state and federal governments can take to make out-of-pocket health care costs more affordable.

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

May 14, 2015 Comments off

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic (PDF)
Source: Alliance for Excellent Education

In 2013, the national high school graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent, and for the third year in a row, the nation remained on pace to meet the 90 percent goal by the Class of 2020. This sixth annual update on America’s high school dropout challenge shows that these gains have been made possible by raising graduation rates for students who have traditionally struggled to earn a high school diploma, and focuses on the student subgroups and geographic areas that both contribute to this progress and are key to driving toward the 90 percent goal.

Continuing a pattern seen in earlier years, rates of improvement among states and large districts varied considerably between 2011 and 2013. Some districts, including those with a majority of low-income and minority students, made big improvements, while others lost ground. This is significant because it indicates that high school graduation rates are not increasing because of broad national economic, demographic, and social trends. Rather, the constellation of leadership, reforms, and multi-sector efforts at state, district, and school levels drove this progress, and shows that with focus, graduation rates can be increased for all students in every part of the country.

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