How to Deal With Debt While Unemployed

Stephen Roll, research assistant professor at SPI, was interviewed for a story with OppLoans about debt during unemployment.

SPI researchers win top awards for papers at ACCI Conference

Yingying Zeng, Mathieu Despard, and Sophia Fox-Dichter received the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) Paper Award for their paper “Workplace Financial Counseling: Credit Outcomes Among Lower-Paid, Entry-Level Workers”.

Stephen P. Roll, Blair D. Russell, Dana C. Perantie, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss received the JCA Best Article of the Year for their paper “Encouraging Tax‐Time Savings with a Low‐Touch, Large‐Scale Intervention: Evidence from the Refund to Savings Experiment”.

Messaging matters when it comes to COVID-19 economic impact payments

The way policymakers and financial capability practitioners communicate about the CARES economic impact payments and other current or future payments may help guide households to use these benefits in the way best suited to their financial situation. This is important because while some households may use the CARES payments to pay down debt and other households may be fortunate enough to be able to save their payments, others will need these payments to simply make ends meet.

What tax refunds tell us about how households might use economic impact payments

While economic impact payments are different than a tax refund, we can be fairly confident, based on this research, that in this moment of emergency, payments from CARES Act will be used on essential purchases. It is also possible households will allocate their economic impact payments to clear debt entirely or to make a minimum payment in order to keep some liquid assets in checking or savings.

Social Policy Institute receives $385,000 grant

The newly established Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis has received a $385,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of the company’s $125 million, five-year global commitment to promoting customers’ financial health.

New consumer protection director to speak June 12

Kathy Kraninger, who was named director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) six months ago, spoke about the bureau’s new directions and initiatives in savings policy in Hillman Hall’s Clark-Fox Forum. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, professor in Brown School and SPI director, will oversee a panel focused on the importance of savings in economically vulnerable communities.

Obamacare helps people make mortgage payments and rent, study concludes

The passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act provided many more Americans access to health insurance, but Obamacare’s legacy goes beyond medicine. According to new research, greater access to health insurance also leads to a significant reduction in Americans becoming delinquent on rent and mortgage payments. Riquier, A.

Hope You Aren’t Counting on Getting a Tax Refund This Winter

While the Trump administration has pledged that the Internal Revenue Service will still issue tax refunds, recent changes to the tax code will make that promise difficult to keep, especially with regard to these critical refunds. As the shutdown stretches on, people who depend on the EITC for relief may face serious hardship. Capps, K.

Health insurance or house payments? Obamacare means many poor Americans are able to pay their rent and mortgages on time by reducing health care costs, study shows

Researchers from University of Colorado at Boulder and Washington University in St. Louis analyzed three years of tax data and survey responses from 15,000 people to test the effect of having health insurance among low-income Americans. They found that low-income people who purchased health care through an Obamacare marketplace were 25 percent less likely than poor Americans without health insurance to miss housing payments. Bauman, V.

Growing old is nice, but boy is it costly

Half of Americans have no retirement savings, according to a Brookings Institution article of three years ago. Hasty reactions to market fluctuations result in escalating debt, according to Michael Grinstein-Weiss, associate professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis and associate director of the Center for Social Development. Shea-Taylor, B.

Financial Planning: Prepare now, avoid bankruptcy later

In 2015, Brookings Institution economist Michal Grinstein-Weiss testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging that 45 percent of Americans had no retirement savings. Without corrective action, we can expect the rate of elder bankruptcy to persist or even increase in coming years. Merrel, S.