POLITICS 04/25/2018 10:28 am ET Updated 9 minutes ago The idea would provide a low-cost alternative to payday loans — and it might just save the Postal Service, too. By Daniel Marans 220 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation Wednesday that would require every U.S. post office to provide basic banking services, an ambitious step aimed at improving the lives of Americans with limited financial resources. The bill brings to Congress for the first time a policy idea that has already won the support of liberal economists and anti-poverty activists: Turning the nation’s sprawling network of U.S. Postal Service facilities into places where working-class and low-income Americans who lack adequate access to commercial banking can obtain low-cost, short-term loans. The central goal of the bill is to replace risky financial products like payday loans, which can trap borrowers in prolonged cycles of debt, with regulated alternatives. “This is a solution to take on payday lenders, to take on the problems that the unbanked have all across the country. It’s a solution whose time has come,” Gillibrand said in an interview with HuffPost. To hear Gillibrand and other postal banking proponents tell it, the Postal Service and underbanked Americans are… Read full this story
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