Identifying and addressing the financial needs of immigrants – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working to identify and address the financial needs of immigrants and their families.
The United States is a nation of immigrants, with more foreign-born residents – over 44 million – than any other country in the world. Though immigrants are extraordinarily diverse as a population, they have some common concerns in the consumer financial marketplace, particularly among low and moderate-income households whose needs are not well met due to a range of systemic barriers that diminish access, fair competition, and transparency. These barriers are particularly salient among the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, over 60 percent of whom have lived here for over 10 years, as well as among new immigrant populations such as refugees.
For too many immigrants, challenges in consumer finance limit, slow, and frustrate the process of achieving full participation in American life. When immigrant consumers face systemic barriers and harmful practices, they are often unable to take the steps that advance towards home ownership, small business growth, and other wealth creation that ultimately benefit families and communities.
The CFPB has heard from dozens of national, state, and local organizations working to address financial challenges facing foreign-born consumers. Through these recent engagements, stakeholders identified a number of common issues impeding access to fair and affordable financial services and products for members of their communities, including:
In addition to the above, stakeholders shared insight about a range of other harmful practices and emerging issues facing immigrants in their communities, such as the cost of remittances, the impact of medical debt, concerns about privacy, access to higher education, practices in the immigration bail bond industry, the cost of immigration applications, and the impact of low-quality or exploitative immigration service providers. Stakeholders also discussed how a number of factors can make it more difficult for immigrants to assert and enforce their rights as consumers, including immigration status concerns, unstable or informal housing, and a lack of accurate information available to them.
We are committed to using our tools and authorities to support immigrant families in accessing opportunity to build wealth and fully contribute to their communities.
We also welcome further input from immigrant consumers, service providers, community groups, and other stakeholders. If you have an experience to share about financial barriers faced by immigrants, please share your story. And if you have a problem with an auto loan, credit report, credit product, bank account, remittance, other money transfer, debt collection, mortgage, or other consumer financial product, you can submit a complaint online or over the phone at (855) 411-2372. More than 180 languages are available by phone.
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