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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Learning how to protect yourself from rip-offs

Tanzi, Welcome House, Jonnycake Center, host Capital Good Fund in Peace Dale

Just days after a federal agency proposed long-awaited stricter limits on the payday lending industry, Rep. Teresa Tanzi brought the Capital Good Fund to South County to provide local residents with information about its small-dollar loans and other programs to build credit and avoid predatory lending traps.

The event, held at the Welcome House of South County June 6 and hosted by Representative Tanzi and the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, was free and open to the public, and gave attendees insight into the financial coaching and lending products the Capital Good Fund can provide to Rhode Islanders.

Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) explained:

“It’s well documented that the payday lending industry baits the consumer with a 10-percent rate over two weeks, or a pay period, but the reality is they cannot pay back the loan in two weeks and more often than not, the 10 percent becomes a 260 percent annual percentage rate when it takes a year to payback. These ‘rollover’ loans become the debt trap that ensnares people already on the edge of poverty. While I’m glad there’s some movement toward regulatory change on the federal level, we have opportunities to make things better now in Rhode Island, and I’d like consumers to know that they have options. I’m very grateful to the Capital Good Fund for the alternative services and products it offers to help people manage financial emergencies and come out stronger, and for its staff’s willingness to come to South County and connect our residents to their valuable resources.”
The Capital Good Fund is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution that takes a holistic approach to fighting poverty. In helping individuals with budgeting, credit building, debt management techniques, and one-on-one financial coaching, it helps clients achieve the credit necessary to cover emergencies and other costs such as car purchases or repairs, security deposits, computers or home weatherization and empowers them to actually get ahead of the next crisis.

At the event, Rachel Wall, Capital Good Fund’s director of coaching, told attendees about resources available to them to help them budget, stick to their budget and achieve financial goals, as well as about small-dollar loan products available through the Capital Good Fund at much more reasonable rates and terms than payday loans.

“Through our one-on-one financial coaching program, we educate Rhode Islanders on how to increase their financial stability and avoid predatory financial services,” said Wall. “We will continue to collaborate with our southern Rhode Island partners to ensure that our loans and financial coaching program are accessible throughout the state.”

Representative Tanzi said the fund’s products to assist with car repairs and purchases are probably particularly useful for the people of South County, where, unfortunately, there is very little public transit available to help those without cars get to work, school or to run errands for their family.
The events sponsors said they were grateful to the Capital Good Fund for coming to town for the event and for the help it can provide to local residents.

“We are excited to have the Capital Good Fund in town to educate local residents about financial products and coaching opportunities that might help them build a bridge to economic security,” said Kate Brewster, executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale.

Said Joseph Dziobek, Welcome House’s executive director, “The Capital Good Fund can play an important role in ending homelessness by giving individuals an option to the predatory loan industry which some of our shelter guests have fallen victim to.  Getting out of debt is of major concern to shelter guests and this program with its coaching component and manageable interest rates provides a viable first step.”

For more information about the Capital Good Fund, visit