Consumer Protection and Financial Justice

We believe that all New Jerseyans must have fair and equal access to safe and affordable housing and to the financial tools they need to live with economic security. For the past 30 years, we have fought to end systemic redlining and discrimination and have advocated for long-term solutions that build financially healthy and secure communities, families, and individuals across New Jersey.

Since 2009, in conjunction with our sister organization New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund, we have hosted an annual Financial Reform Summit, bringing together more than 200 community leaders, advocates, students, elected officials, financial institutions, small business owners, and other stakeholders to discuss current financial justice policies and reforms. We also convene a monthly Financial Justice Table which advocates for state and federal consumer finance policies. 

Our Statewide Priorities Include: 

  • Protections and financial relief to keep people safe in their homes, avoiding eviction, foreclosure and utility shutoff
  • Protections for students and their families against unfair and deceptive practices by student loan lenders, post-secondary schools, and career training programs.
  • Public State Bank: New Jersey needs a state bank to expand access to capital at competitive rates for creditworthy projects that fall within socially beneficial categories and are currently not funded, or not funded adequately.  
  • The FAIR Act (Fairness Auto Insurance Rates): (A1657/S111), would prohibit the use of education, occupation, and credit score as rating factors in automobile insurance underwriting. While these factors do not overtly invoke race, pre-existing racial inequalities in educational, occupational and economic attainment ensure the same result: Black and Latinx drivers in New Jersey are more likely to pay more for, or be unable to afford, auto insurance coverage, hamstringing their economic mobility. The same is true for working class consumers of any background. A janitor with a perfect driving record is charged more for auto insurance than a doctor with a poor driving record. 

Our Federal Priorities Include:

  • We are focused on implementing, restoring, and strengthening a number of federal pro-consumer policies, programs, and offices, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and more.

In the past, we’ve successfully advocated for and supported the implementation of:

  • New Jersey’s  Student Loan Ombudsman
  • Divestment of $86 million of state pension dollars from an equity firm that owned a predatory payday lending company and the blocking of an additional $150 million investment in the same firm.