Steve Inskeep discussed on Morning Edition

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Steve Inskeep and I know will king people who graduated from historically black or predominantly Hispanic colleges might be paying more to borrow money because of where they went to school that's according to a new report from a financial watchdog group and here's Chris Arnold got an advance copy of that report a lot more people these days are getting loans from a new breed of lenders known as Finn tax or financial technology firms add some of these lenders factor in where you went to college a really racing alarm flags cat well back as the civil rights council the nonprofit student bar were protection center her group decided to run a test they chose a fintech lender called upstart you get a loan offer off its website and they applied for dozens of loans online at posing as a twenty four year old man they said he lives in New York makes fifty grand a year the only difference was where he went to school they applied as if he went to and why you in New York a bunch of other schools and Howard University one of the most famous historically black colleges and universities in this country and we looked at what would a bar where from Howard what with a swimmer if they see if they apply for this type of loan and then they compare and they found that if you went to and why you versus Howard for a thirty thousand dollar personal loan with a five year term they found you pay about thirty five hundred dollars more in interest in fees if you went to Howard a historically black college there's no other difference between these two borrowers other than the fact that one attended it and why year in one attended Howard the group found you'd also pay more if you went to New Mexico state which has a high percentage of Hispanic students in a new report called educational redlining the group says lenders it may be discriminating based on what college you attended we reached out to Dave Girard the CEO of upstart we definitely appreciate the intent Gerard it used to be a senior executive at Google and found it up start he says to use technology to make credit more available upstart he says goes way beyond looking at your credit score there are more than a thousand factors I mean we're a company that your entire mission the reason you know we get out of bed every morning is to improve access to affordable credit so we are actually supportive of the intent that credit should be biased unfair anyway Hey but you're right says basically the test the nonprofit group ran it doesn't prove that using education as a factor it leads to discrimination using you know hypothetical contrived applicants for loans who are real people and was but you know both anecdotal and and not reflective of the real world and you know we're a company that has tested for fairness and bias over millions of applicants and that's our approach to ensuring that our platform isn't biased against anybody still the report raised the eyebrows of some legal experts and tied Baker teaches a course on fintech at Columbia university's law school he says that the traditional credit score approach to landing has its own problems and biases and at some fintech landers alternative approaches can help using alternative data can be highly beneficial but also has dangers and we need to be very vigilant that we don't recreate some of the problematic practices of the past unintentionally advocates are increasingly worried the casting such a wide net for data to make decisions introduces biases in new and different ways well back says her group is pushing for better oversight and more transparency from fin tech companies Chris Arnold NPR news Iowa the first state to vote is looking last in vote counting we're still waiting for a final tally on the twenty twenty Iowa caucuses the state Democratic Party chairman has promised a full investigation and already there are calls for Iowa to lose its status NPR's don Gonyea reports new technology was supposed to make the twenty twenty Iowa caucuses a smoother running operation it didn't work out that way Monday night passed and then Tuesday morning with no results reported then just after four PM yesterday partial but not complete vote totals were posted online showing Bernie Sanders and people to judge battling for first place by now all of the ideal candidates were off in New Hampshire leaving the spotlight to Iowa Democratic Party chairman try price good afternoon thank you all so much for taking a little time today to to chat a little bit about what happened last night price held a short news conference starting with a mea culpa he said the problems tabulating results are unacceptable as chair of the party I apologize deeply for this he said an investigation would be thorough and transparent but he also stressed that the use of voting cards this year that's a new thing for the caucuses means there's a paper trail and that there will be an accurate final count eventually during Q. NA price said there were no indications of problems during testing of the new app used to transmit results from caucus sites he didn't say when a complete vote count would be released and he was asked if having such a major problem could lead to Ireland losing its spot as the first to vote the fact is is that this is a conversation that happens every four years there's no doubt that that conversation will take place again in fact it's already been a hot topic on local television news in Iowa here's KCCI channel eight in the morning hafu is of course increasing calls nationwide and I was first in the nation status in the presidential election process in the past the debate has focused on whether Iowa is to world to white into one like the nation as a whole to occupy the privilege first spot on the election calendar it has so far always weathered such arguments but the very public very embarrassing problems of this week gave I was critics a boost according to Drake University political scientist Dennis gold for the twenty twenty caucus was a pretty much of a nightmare scenario he says the push to give another stated turn or to even make it rotating position with the new first state each election cycle will now get a more serious look those wanting to change the nomination procedure to move or just place the Iowa caucuses have gained a lot of ammunition in the meantime Iowa Democrats will need to show that they fix the problems of this week more difficult might be proving to voters especially those disappointed with the results that fairness is carried the day don Gonyea NPR news des Moines this is NPR news John McConnell with the San Jose traffic.

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