Millions live in the financial shadows

When hardworking families can’t get car loans or own homes, they turn to payday lenders and check cashers to make ends meet. High-cost fringe financial services trap people in a cycle of debt, preventing hardworking families from unlocking their full economic potential.


45 million people are without access to affordable credit. 16 million people don’t have access to bank accounts.


1 in 4 families turn to fringe financial services for their daily needs.


Being invisible costs more. Payday lenders charge 391% to 521% interest for payday loans.

We meet hardworking families where they are.
Then we build on what they have.

the solution is simple

The solution can be found in the hidden strengths of communities across the country. People come together to lend and borrow money with each other. We connect this practice with the financial system so that borrowers can build credit and a brighter future.


People lend and borrow with each other all the time. We recognize this practice and use credit reporting to make it visible.


We help people navigate the financial marketplace and develop programs that transform everyday financial practices into savings and credit building opportunities.


We use technology to expand our programs nationwide. With a network of nonprofit providers, we are able to help low-income people across the country.

  • “One-third of people who participate in Lending Circles lack any type of credit history when they enter the program. After completing a single lending circle, these individuals can grow their credit scores to approximately 600, and gain access to mainstream credit.”

    Senator Lou Correa

  • “NCLR is happy that MAF is leading California in expanding access to safe and affordable financial resources to its hardworking families.”

    Marisabel Torres, NCLR

  • “We have seen how families use Lending Circles to reduce their debts, buy school materials for their children, buy gifts for the holidays, and invest in their small businesses.”

    Jorge Blandon, Family Independence Initiative


Wealth inequality and new Americans

The racial wealth gap is real, and it's growing. But where do immigrants fit into this analysis?

Jose Quinonez

Citizenship for New Yorkers

The $725 application fee is keeping one million New Yorkers from becoming citizens.

Tara Robinson

Meet Joyce, MAF’s new Finance Manager

This newest member of the MAF family is a seasoned accountant with a passion for social justice.

Adina Hemley-Bronstein

Introducing Jessica Leggett

She joined MAF's Board of Directors in 2016 - and she hit the ground running. Learn what she brings to the table.

Adina Hemley-Bronstein

as seen in


Hispanics and the Homeownership Divide

Zero-interest loans can help aspiring Latino homeowners build credit and avoid predatory lenders.

Celebrating Princeton’s Latino alumni

José Quiñonez delivered a keynote address, "Out of the Shadows: My American Story."

Inconfundiblemente Latino: José A. Quiñonez

Inviertiendo en el capital humano para mejorar las finanzas personales. Julio Muñiz entrevista a José A. Quiñonez.

How will Trump make Mexico pay for the wall?

"This is money from the folks that are cleaning our houses, washing our dishes, people that are babysitting our kids."

It’s not enough to feel good about the work we do. We care about having a real, tangible impact.
That’s why we validate our programs through third-party research.
This way, we measure our impact and use data to improve our programs.

We believe everyone deserves a shot at success.
Join us in making the financial system work for everyone.

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Investing $100 generates $4,000 in social loans helping families build credit and a better future.