The Self-Help Credit Union Revolutionized How Big Banks Saw Low-Income Savers

Nov 28, 2017
Originally published on November 28, 2017 2:53 pm

When founders Martin Eakes and Bonnie Wright started the Center for Community Self-Help in 1980, they did so with the fundamental belief that low and middle-income homeowners and small business owners would not only be a safe investment, but also a profitable one. 

By offering long-term loans free from predatory traps, they created a system where return on investment was reliable and where Self-Help was able to quickly and steadily invest back into North Carolina communities.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with writer Howard E. Covington Jr. whose new book “Lending Power: How Self-Help Credit Union Turned Small-Time Loans Into Big-Time Change” (Duke University Press/ 2017) explores how policies spurred by Self-Help prevented some in North Carolina evade the worst of the housing bubble collapse.


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