Astra Taylor

Lifting the lid on predatory lending


“For those following the work of the Debt Collective & the broader campaign against for-profit education, a quick update: student debtors fighting for loan cancellation keep making inroads, even under the Trump admin.”

The Big Idea


Astra is driven to help individuals take back control of their own debt data and financial futures. Predatory lending and exploitative debt practices cripple borrowers, and have significant consequences.

While it is easy to blame individual lenders for bad behaviour, the problem is much more systemic. Through the Debt Collective Astra is challenging established predatory practices and core beliefs around indebtedness with lenders and borrowers.

Why We Funded


Astra is equipped with exceptional investigative experience, and has the potential to put her skills to work in changing what we think and know about indebtedness. As a ‘practical activist,’ she has already forged success with the Rolling Jubilee campaign, and is now turning her focus towards unblocking pathways for individuals to resolve their debt and establish more equitable lending practices.

We are interested in finding out what openness looks like in the context of black box processes that affect our daily lives, but also deals with sensitive, private information. We support Astra’s work to work and learn with her.

Astra’s work focuses on:

  • Enabling debtors to leverage the power and knowledge of a collective
  • Mobilizing a community to defend against predatory lenders
  • Challenging the systems and beliefs surrounding indebtedness

Funding Breakdown


People
Marketing
Software
Travel
Infrastructure
Training
Office space
Legal

2015

Fellow contribution:
$3,936.89
Our contribution:
$281,952.46
Total funds:
$285,889.35

2016

Fellow contribution:
$20,395.45
Our contribution:
$284,404.55
Total funds:
$304,800.00

2017

Fellow contribution:
$28,751.80
Our contribution:
$344,468.04
Total funds:
$373,219.84

2018

Fellow contribution:
$12,110.23
Our contribution:
$150,102.27
Total funds:
$162,212.50
Total funding to date:
$1,126,121.69

Flash Grants


Female
Sofía Unanue
www.lamarana.org/
Female
Molly Hemstreet
opportunitythreads.com/
Female
Rachel Herzing
criticalresistance.org/
Male
Ramsey Nasser
nas.sr/
Female
Kelsey Kauffman