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Refugees and the economy

Fast and Financed

Refugees have been described as an economic burden, a strain and a drain on the United States. That's far from the truth and our latest data shows why.

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True or false:
Refugees are more likely to repay their car loans than the national average.
  • True
  • False
Refugee car loan repayments

New data released by the International Rescue Committee reveals that refugees in the U.S. repay their auto loans at a dramatically better rate than the national average.

We found that resettled refugees who received low-income auto loans from the IRC in California, Arizona and Utah had a much lower default rate—1.95 percent compared to the U.S. average of nearly 12 percent. 

Why? Unlike most lenders, the IRC verifies income and requires financial training.

This is no surprise. It’s a fact that refugees enrich the American economy. Over the past decade, refugees have contributed $63 billion more than they cost to resettle, according to a report commissioned by the Trump administration.

Read more about the IRC’s findings.

Watch one refugee’s story.

24-year-old Farhad from Afghanistan has a job, goes to college and is on his way to becoming a dental assistant. None of this would be possible without a car.

Get the facts about refugees.

Accepting refugees in the U.S. makes economic sense. Take a look at the facts below to learn why.


Refugees are 50 percent more likely to become business owners than U.S.-born citizens.

Salam, a successful restaurant owner in Boise, emphasizes that refugees like himself can thrive in the U.S.

Read Salam’s story.

Refugees in the U.S. pay on average $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in government benefits.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is designed to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency quickly.

Learn more.

84 percent of refugees resettled by the IRC last year were economically self-sufficient within six months.

After many years of waiting in uncertainty as refugees, this Sudanese family is starting over in America.

Read their story.

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Stand by people whose lives have been shattered by conflict and learn how the IRC helps them rebuild.

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