Legal Services for Low Income Families

Legal Services for Low Income Families

Jan 17

Legal Services for Low Income Families, Payday Lenders, and Loan Traps to Avoid

Low income families face many challenges and are often heavily indebted. They are often victims of loan sharks and other predatory lenders that use unethical and illegal practices.

Challenges Low Income Families Face

Poverty affects your ability to meet basic expenses such as transportation, electricity, heat, and water supply, food, health care, phone service, and a lot more. Parenting on a low income is particularly challenging. Many families face housing and food hardships and child care expenses make a substantial portion of their expenses. Health problems are also more prevalent.

Legal Services for Low Income Residents

There are legal services that provide aid and advice to low income residents. Services are often offered free of charge to qualifying members.  Legal services specialize in different fields of law such as old age security, employment standards, employment insurance, disability support programs, tenants’ rights, and others. There are legal services that offer advice and consultations in areas such as immigration law, employment, and wrongful dismissal. Low income residents are also offered legal advice on issues related to personal injury, real estate, and family law. Depending on the case and situation, some services are offered regionally and cases are handled by lawyers. Some legal clinics specialize in advocacy for elderly citizens and offer advice on retirement home, income and pensions, home and health care, elder abuse, consumer protection, advance care planning, consumer protection, and health care consent. They also specialize in retirement home tenancies and mental capacity law. In addition, there are services that provide settlement support and offer immigration help and advice. Some services also run a tenant helpline and engage in tenant advocacy. The goal is to help low income residents find appropriate and reasonable accommodation. They also offer social service and housing support and crisis counseling. Many work toward homelessness prevention.

Community legal aid and advice is also available to injured workers. Different legal clinics also offer community development services, public legal education, and representation. Social assistance is also available as well as legal aid to refugee claimants. Legal referral and assistance are also offered in case of emergency. Paralegal services are also available. There are legal clinics that offer student legal aid and advice on minor crimes. In many cases, legal services are offered by both volunteer law students and full-time lawyers. They are run as non-profit community legal clinics. Some offer children and youth services and run various programs, including anti-poverty and anti-violence programs.

Payday Loan Companies Targeting Low Income Families

While there are many legitimate and trustworthy loan providers that offer short-term loans, (see here), some lenders use illegal and unethical practices such as threat of violence and blackmail. They target low income families, recent immigrants, senior citizens, and persons who are heavily indebted. There are some red flags signaling that you are dealing with a loan shark. For example, if your loan provider resorts to threats and intimidation, this means that you are dealing with an unethical lender. Watch out for lenders that request items as security and add random and hidden charges.  Stay away from services that take items such as benefits and bank cards and passports and ID cards. Some doorstep lenders and loan sharks fail to disclose the interest rate and contract terms and give no or little paperwork. Legitimate payday lenders, on the other hand, disclose the term, rate, and all charges involved. While they charge high interest rates over a short period, this option makes sense in case of emergency. The best thing about payday loans is that they are offered to customers with different credit profiles, including borrowers with poor credit, see here. Applicants who are employed and have an active bank account meet the criteria. Repeat customers are offered larger loans. While payday lenders offer loans to low income families, they only accept applicants with regular income. Some lenders may also target low income borrowers because they are more likely to use their services. For more legal and financial aid visit

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