many poor communities, people are forced to use check-cashing
stores to cash their paychecks. Predatory lenders, such as finance
companies and loan sharks, are often the only source of credit
in these communities. In this context, providing simple services
such as checking and savings accounts, and making small loans
for the kinds of expenses a middle class family might put on a
credit card are important community development activities.
Ayers founded Demopolis
Federal Credit Union in the days of the Civil Rights movement.
Today this credit union provides basic financial services as well
as small-business loans.