Through research to better understand the needs and challenges of our own customers, we’ve identified compelling information and common misconceptions about this growing market.

Led by Executive Director Jonathan Walker, Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class researches consumer behaviors and identifies the unique needs of nonprime Americans. Our goal is to provide research that encourages engagement, dialogue, sharing of information and cooperation between policymakers, consumer advocates, media, academics, and the general public to better serve the New Middle Class.

Why? Because we believe the New Middle Class is worth fighting for.

Our Approach

Research – Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class conducts primary research to better understand this growing consumer group. It also gathers information from third party sources, government studies, and efforts by journalists.

Outreach – We believe in sharing what we learn and look for opportunities to engage and discuss with individuals and organizations who have an interest in this important consumer segment.

Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action – In 2015, Elevate and RLJ Financial committed to identify and deploy financial tools that will help subprime borrowers to improve their credit scores, decrease their debt, increase their savings, and better manage their budgets and cash flow.

Who is the New Middle Class?

The New Middle Class is a growing group of productive credit-constrained Americans generally described as subprime or non-prime, having credit scores below 700 and little or no savings. This subprime — or non-prime status — prevents access to traditional lending products, meaning this group of approximately 160 million Americans are generally limited to expensive forms of credit or no credit at all and have few options to meet their immediate financial needs.