Poor people spend their money living day to day. How can they accumulate wealth? In the United States, home-ownership is often the answer. Homes not only provide shelter but also are assets, and thus a means to create equity. Mortgage credit becomes a crucial factor. More Americans than ever now have some access to credit. However. thanks in large part to the growth of global capital markets and greater use of "credit scores," not all homeowners have benefited equally from the opened spigots. Different terms and conditions mean that some applicants are overpaying for mortgage credit, while some are getting in over their heads. And the door is left wide open for predatory lenders.
In this important new volume, accomplished analysts examine the situation, illustrate its ramifications, and recommend steps to improve it. Today, low-income Americans have more access to credit than ever before. The challenge is to increase the chances that home-ownership becomes the new pathway to asset-building that everyone hopes it will be.