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No Right Turn: Illinois' Auto Title Loan Industry and its Impact on Consumers

October 28, 2015

This study examines the auto title lending industry in Illinois. Auto title loans are a type of high-cost, small-dollar loan. They are similar to payday loans, but are secured by the title to the borrower's automobile. Title lenders operate in 25 states across the country, and each year an estimated two million American consumers take out title loans. This report examines data from two reports on the consumer lending industry released by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) and loan-level data from court records of collection cases filed in Cook County.

Starting out Behind: Trends in Student Loan Burdens at For-Profit Colleges

May 11, 2015

This study analyzes the impact of postsecondary institution type and student characteristics on students' decision whether to borrow and how much to borrow to finance their education. Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study from the 2011-2012 academic year, the study uses a two-stage regression model in order to estimate the impacts of student and institutional characteristics on the probability that a student would borrow and, for students who borrowed, their student debt burdens. The model controls for a number of financial resources available to students, institution characteristics, and student and family characteristics that could contribute to variations in debt between for-profit, nonprofit, and public colleges, including the total cost of attendance, amount of parental support, expected family contribution, and amount of grants received.

Struggling to Stay Afloat: Negative Equity in Communities of Color in the Chicago Six County Region

March 22, 2012

The following analysis examines patterns of negative equity in communities of different racial and ethnic compositions in the Chicago six county region. It combines 2011 data on negative equity in Chicago region ZIP codes with U.S. Census data on the racial/ethnic composition of ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA).

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace

June 24, 2011

Details issues for creating insurance exchanges, including accountability and transparency, power to negotiate, innovations in cost and quality, stability, consumer-friendly design, and coordination with public programs, with a focus on small businesses.

Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites

April 1, 2011

The mass media model, which sustained news and information in communities like Chicago for decades, is being replaced by a "new news ecosystem" consisting of hundreds of websites, podcasts, video streams and mobile applications. In 2009, The Chicago Community Trust set out to understand this ecosystem, assess its health and make investments in improving the flow of news and information in Chicagoland. The report you are reading is one of the products of the Trust's local information initiative, Community News Matters. "Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites" is one of the first -- perhaps the first -- research projects seeking to understand a locala

Beyond Payday Loans: Consumer Installment Lending in Illinois

March 19, 2009

This report analyzes detailed, loan level data and describes the terms and conditions, borrower demographics, and default characteristics of loans made by consumer installment lenders in Illinois.

Assessment to Action: Creating Change - A Report on a Gathering of Foundation CEOs, Trustees, and Senior Executives

August 1, 2007

In March 2007, more than 225 CEOs, trustees, and senior executives gathered in Chicago to discuss a wide range of important issues: the role of strategy and performance assessment, board functioning and the dynamics of race in the boardroom, and the challenge of inspiring -- and leading -- change. Among the report's 11 articles are highlights and lessons learned from presentations by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor at Harvard Business School, Spelman College President Beverly Tatum, and former Atlantic Philanthropies President and CEO John R. Healy.

Blindfolded Into Debt: A Comparison of Credit Card Costs and Conditions at Banks and Credit Unions

July 1, 2005

This report analyzes the deceptive effect of credit card terms and conditions and how these terms and conditions massively raise the cost of using credit cards and contribute to rising levels of consumer debt.

Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists

July 1, 2003

Documents and analyzes the environment of support for individual artists. Provides a framework for analysis of various dimensions of the support structure, nationally and in specific sites across the U.S. Includes support programs and policy initiatives.

You See What I'm Saying? Current and Former TANF Recipients Talk About Being on Welfare

April 1, 2002

In this publication, Chicago Jobs Council gives voice to the people behind the numbers. The following pages hold the experiences and ideas of 31 women, current and former TANF recipients and their providers of employment services, who participated in five focus groups CJC conducted in the Fall of 2001. Their thoughts reflect their perspectives as short or long-term welfare recipients, and as women of various ages, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and languages. Their remarks, largely unedited, are collected here so that you will give them serious consideration in your own welfare advocacy or policy-making. See what they are saying. This is welfare as they know it.

Paychecks & Poverty: Real Household Budgets of Welfare-to-Work Participants

April 1, 2002

Illustrates welfare reform's negative financial impact on low-income families who often do not receive the income supports for whichWhile many valuable statewide studies document the impacts of Illinois' welfare policies, they were never meant to tell the individual stories behind the aggregated data. And so poverty remains faceless, and the distinct circumstances of living in poverty remain invisible. In order to shed light on the particular situations facing current and former welfare recipients, the Chicago Jobs Council (CJC) engaged our Welfare-to-Work Working Group members to conduct surveys of, and convene focus groups with, clients of their employment service programs. This report features case studies of four survey respondents' household budgets, and the voices of six focus group participants, to tangibly illustrate Chicagoans' financial and personal struggles under welfare reform. The important and informative life stories shared here provide valuable insight for policymakers, service providers, advocates and the public on strategies still needed to assume an end to poverty.

Accessing TANF Assistance: A Survey of Low-Income Young Mothers in Chicago

April 1, 2002

In 2000-2001, the Center for Impact Research (CIR), in collaboration with other concerned organizations, set out to obtain more information from young mothers about their experiences with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) receipt in order to determine if changes in the TANF application process for teens are needed, and whether the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is effectively engaging teens in the TANF system. Working with community-based organizations, CIR trained young mothers to locate and survey other young mothers in low-income communities. A total of 601 young mothers, ages 13-21, were interviewed. Summary of Findings: CIR found that many young mothers were told they were ineligible for TANF and left TANF offices without having filled out applications; that those who had applied and were not receiving TANF were in need of education and employment; and that the older respondents -- who no longer qualified for the in-depth case management -- were experiencing more hardship than younger respondents.