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.

INVISIBLE

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

STUCK

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

STRAPPED

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.

RECOGNIZE

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

BUILD

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

SCALE

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

Blog

Introducing the Adelante Advisory Council

Learn how this group of passionate MAF advocates is fundraising and friendraising for justice

Kelsea McDonough

Father’s Day: Two proud dads and Dreamers

Lending Circles clients' Edgar and Gustavo's journey to bring their family together

Adina Hemley-Bronstein

Champion Spotlight: Meet Gaby Zamudio

She’s a bilingual UI developer and ping pong pro who’s passionate about using tech for good.

Kelsea McDonough

Preparing yourself for financial emergencies

Simple steps to prevent an immigration-related emergency from becoming a financial one

Mohan Kanungo

as seen in

PRESS

A move to protect undocumented workers

If immigration agents show up at a worksite, employers don't have to let them in.

Bill protecting immigrants advances in CA

Heightened fear among undocumented immigrant workers may have a chilling effect on consumer spending.

Lawmakers protect undocumented workers

Immigrants are fearful and retreating back into the shadows. This has a real economic impact.

Responding to immigration enforcement

How the immigrant community can respond to increased enforcement: advocates weigh in

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.

Follow Us

Connect with us!
Find out what we're up to and how you can be involved!

Participate

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

donate