How Can We Cure What Ails American Family Finances?

This post by Andrea Levere originally appeared on HuffPost Business

There’s nothing simple about being a consumer of financial services these days. We’re bombarded daily by tempting credit offers while living in a reality where a single unpaid bill can torpedo one’s credit score. Bank closings and mergers have left many lower-income neighborhoods without a mainstream financial institution, and high-cost predatory lenders have stepped in to fill the gap. In the U.S. today there are 20,000 storefront lenders. That’s about 6,000 more than the number of McDonald’s restaurants.

All of this is happening during a time when skyrocketing student loan debt and the demise of employer-based retirement plans have made people even more dependent on this complex financial system. No wonder 57% of Americans are considered “financially unhealthy” and one in five people making more than $75,000 say they could not come up with $2,000 in an emergency.

Navigating this financial minefield is hard enough for those of us with a good paycheck and savings in the bank. But for those further down the economic ladder, it is nearly impossible.

Read the full post on HuffPost Business