The CFPB is working to understand and address immigrants’ unique financial needs and challenges. “When immigrant consumers face systemic barriers and harmful practices, they are often unable to take the steps that advance towards home ownership, small business growth, and other wealth creation that ultimately benefit families and communities,” according to Sonia Lin, a Senior Fellow at the CFPB who has an extensive background in immigration policy. Accordingly, the CFPB has recently engaged with stakeholder organizations already working to address the financial challenges faced by immigrants to identify several issues:
- Immigrants often have difficulty accessing banking services and credit, even if they have prime or near-prime credit scores.
- Many immigrants have limited English proficiency.
- Many immigrants, and especially refugees, lack a credit history or prior experience with credit.
These issues often leave immigrants vulnerable to high cost or predatory service providers.
As it determines how best to use its tools and authorities to support immigrants in accessing financial services, the CFPB welcomes further input from immigrants, service providers, community groups, and other relevant stakeholders.