The JP UP Date: JP DRIVE Program Is Supporting Minority Borrowers

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 210                      February 17, 2023                                   St. Louis

JP DRIVE Program Helping Minority Auto Borrowers

Throughout Justine PETERSEN’s 25 years of asset and credit building for families, we’re always looking out for trends that may be impacting a household’s economic health. In recent years one of those trends we took note of was auto loans. Specifically, we saw how many low and moderate income (LMI) households were locked into high interest rate auto loans that would ultimately suppress their credit score and eat into their household’s monthly budget. This without factoring in supplemental expenses such as gas and insurance. So, with the support of investments from BJC Health Care and NISA Charitable Fund, in 2022 JP launched the DRIVE program to refinance LMI drivers out of aggressively priced financing terms to the competitive interest rate of 8%.In a recently published study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, it was found that Black, Hispanic, and Asian auto borrowers pay a higher average markup than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. The author of the study, Jonathan Lanning, specifically notes that “Black borrowers disproportionately pay what is generally the highest allowable interest rate markup – 2.0 percentage points – which results in nearly $1,400 in additional interest over the lifetime of the auto loan.” Since its inception, 99% of the funding disbursed from the DRIVE program has been to non-white borrowers, predominantly in neighborhoods with higher LMI populations.

JP is proud to continue to serve our community with the DRIVE program as we see the vehicle as more than simply just that, but as a vehicle to labor access, medical care, education, and much more. The DRIVE program is open to eligible borrowers who have existing auto loans of $20,000 or less, an interest rate of 15% or greater, and at least four recent months of on-time payments with their current lender. To discuss the program more, contact JP Asset Building Counselor LaTrisha Gandy at

Related story: A deal’s a deal…unless it’s a ‘yo-yo’ care sale

JP Team Welcomes Heydays to the Neighborhood

Last Thursday, February 9th, Justine PETERSEN’s Chief Partnership Officer Shawna Collier (pictured second from right) and Business Associate Assistant Yolanda Nelson attended the grand opening of Heydays HQ. Just around the corner from JP in the burgeoning Midtown neighborhood of St. Louis, Heydays is an African American and female owned co-working space and licensed incubator. Founded by fellow Grow With Google partner Keisha Mabry (pictured second from left), the space is designed to help entrepreneurs and creators flourish through collaboration and access to shared services that come with membership. Joining Shawna and Yolanda at the Grand Opening were faculty members from Washington University in St. Louis, Tracy Jackson (pictured right most) and Janelle Turner (pictured left most). To see more of the celebration, checkout this behind the scenes capture from Yolanda.

Mark Your Calendar to Support JP on Give STL Day

Sooner than we realize, Spring will be here! Of course with its arrival brings so much to look forward to: St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day, spending quality time outdoors, and Give STL Day! Each year, Give STL Day looks to optimize charitable giving for St. Louis area nonprofits. Justine PETERSEN is looking forward to taking part in the event, and more so to connect with those members of the community who are interested in becoming contributors to our mission. To learn more about planning ahead for this, contact JP’s Resource Development Associate Andrew Barnes at

Mortgage Assistance for Illinois Homeowners

As a HUD certified counseling agency, Justine PETERSEN is here to support. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about mortgage assistance and the application process to contact us by emailing More information can also be found here.

Happy Birthday, Nikki!

Last weekend JP’s most spirited counselor, Nikki Wilson, celebrated an important birthday! In addition to being part of our Asset Building Team, Nikki is a member of our DEIJ committee, spearheads JP Spirit Week along with other holiday celebrations, and is a popular cook among the office – most recently contributing one of her recipes to last week’s UP Date. With all that she does in and out of the office, we’re hoping Nikki is celebrated well this week.