Lending Circles are zero-fee, zero-interest credit-building social loans. By organizing low-income community members into Lending Circles, borrowers become lenders and lenders become borrowers.
People around the world use informal lending circles when they don't have access to banks or the mainstream financial system. This worldwide practice of social lending is a market of the extraordinary financial entrepreneurship of low-income communities who band together to find a workable solution when mainstream, low-cost capital is out of reach.
MAF weaves this age-old tradition with technology and credit reporting. Now individuals can join a lending circle that builds credit. With an average credit score increase of 20-36 points, those without a credit score are able to establish one in six months. And those with thin or damaged scores from high-cost debts now have a fighting change to rebuild their financial lives. An established and positive credit history opens the door to financial opportunity -- by removing barriers to jobs and apartments, increasing access to affordable financial products, and building financial assets.
We are proud to say we are working in partnership with over 15 nonprofit organizations to offer Lending Circles to low-income communities in over 10 counties in California and five U.S. states.