Sarah Dewees

Borrowing Trouble: Predatory Lending in Native American Communities


With the collapse of the subprime mortgage lending market, predatory lending has become a significant national concern. In Native communities, however, predatory lending has been a major concern for years, since abusive lending practices have tended to proliferate more in minority and low-income communities than elsewhere.

This paper provides an analysis of survey data collected from attendees at the National American Indian Housing Council meeting in May 2007; survey data collected from Native users of selected Voluntary Income Tax Assistance sites; geo-coded data of payday lenders, bank branches, and Native community development finance institutions; and a national data set of home mortgage loans. This paper also presents five case studies of promising practices and concludes by offering concrete suggestions about the steps Native nations can take to curb the impact of predatory lending on their citizens.

Resource Type

Jorgensen, Miriam, Sarah Dewees, Karen Edwards. "Borrowing Trouble: Predatory Lending in Native American Communities." First Nations Development Institute. Longmont, Colorado. April 2008. Paper.