LGBTQ individuals are subject to two types of discrimination in lending: denials of credit due to their LGBTQ-identity (disparate treatment) and denials of credit, or high interest and fees, due to their economic insecurity as a result of outside discrimination (a disparate impact). Both forms of discrimination are under reported and under pursued, and both can be addressed through improved access to financial services.
Financial services prey on the LGBTQ community in two ways. First, predatory financial products and schemes such as check cashing, payday loans, and overdrafts can extort high fees from users. Second, predatory marketing and attempts to ingratiate financial services groups to the LGBTQ community at events such as Pride parades, banks have revealed their interest in the LGBTQ as a market for its services. But the LGBTQ community can do better than traditional financial services: we can start our own.
LGBTQ Americans are finding more acceptance in mainstream society today, and are increasingly able to live comfortably out and open lives at work, in mainstream bars, restaurants, But increasing equality has not changed the fact LGBTQ people consider themselves unique and distinct from mainstream peers, and continue to seek out comfort and community at spaces and in neighborhoods focused toward serving LGBTQ people. Despite increasing tolerance, LGBTQ-serving spaces are struggling in cities in America, and across the world. Continue reading “LGBTQ Businesses & Communities”