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Terri Friedline

Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Michigan
Chapter Member: Michigan SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Terri

Friedline's research focuses on financial system reform and consumer protections to ensure that households and communities have access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Her research has examined safety and affordability of basic banking products, racial disparities in access to financial services, predatory alternative financial services and the rise in financial technology. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Research Fellow at New America, and Faculty Director of Financial Inclusion at the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

In the News

Opinion: "Want a Green New Deal? Then Challenge Global Capitalism," Terri Friedline, The American Prospect, February 7, 2019.
Opinion: "Small Banks Discriminate against People of Color. A New Law Makes It Worse.," Terri Friedline, The Washington Post, June 22, 2018.
Opinion: "An Open Internet is Essential for Financial Inclusion, FinTech Revolution," Terri Friedline, Huffington Post, December 14, 2017.
Opinion: "Life in a Banking Desert," Terri Friedline (with Mathieu Despard), The Atlantic, March 13, 2016.
Quoted by Christine DiGangi in "How Your Hometown Affects Your Credit Card Debt," Time, September 30, 2015.
Research discussed by P.R. Lockhart, in "How to Break the Millennial Debt Spiral," Time , June 22, 2015.


"Young Adults' Race, Wealth, and Entrepreneurship" (with Stacia West). Race and Social Problems 8, no. 1 (2016): 42-63.

Explores relationships among young adults' wealth and entrepreneurial activities with emphasis on how these relationships differed among racial and ethnic groups. Suggests that racial and ethnic minority young adults may have a heavier burden for generating their own capital to embark on entrepreneurial activities when mainstream credit markets are unresponsive or inaccessible.

"Does Community Access to Alternative Financial Services Relate to Individuals' Use of These Services? Beyond Individual Explanations" (with Nancy Kepple). Journal of Consumer Policy 40, no. 1 (2017): 51-79.

Examines associations between the density or concentration of alternative financial services within communities and individuals' use of these services. Associates having a higher density of alternative financial services within communities with more chronic use among lowest income individuals. 

"The Potential for Savings Accounts to Protect Young-Adult Households from Unsecured Debt in Periods of Macroeconomic Stability and Decline" (with Allison Freeman). Social Service Review 90, no. 1 (2016).

Tests the association between a savings account and debt in the lives of American young adults during periods of macroeconomic stability and decline. Suggests that a savings account may help young adults invest in their debt by entering better, healthier credit markets and protecting them from riskier ones, especially during bad economic times.

"Are Banks' Entry-Level Checking Accounts Safe and Affordable?," (with Mathieu Despard, Rachael Eastlund, and Nik Schuetz), University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion, May 22, 2017.

Examines costs and fees associated with banks' basic, entry-level checking accounts and finds that few banks actually meet the full set of safety and affordability guidelines from the 2017-2018 Bank on National Account Standards. Notes that bank tellers and managers often reported the use of discretionary practices when it comes to charging overdraft fees to their consumers.