Chicago Tribune

Column: Fees, fines, loans, scams: How the poor get poorer

CHICAGO - Debt is a greedy beast.

Once it gets its fangs in you, it can devour you. It's true for the rich. It's far worse for the poor.

When we talk about poverty and its causes, we often ignore the role of debt, which is the subject of a report issued recently by Community Organizing and Family Issues, or COFI, a Chicago organization that trains and organizes low-income women of color.

Currency exchange fees, parking fines, overdue hospital bills, student loans,

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