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This is what 5 years of social lending looks like

Five years ago, we never could have imagined releasing this publication. When MAF first started it’s social lending program, Lending Circles, we had no idea where it would go. We were just trying out a new idea. But then that idea grew its own legs. It growing and expanding – all the way from one neighborhood in San Francisco to five U.S. states.

We’re excited to release this online magazine taking you through a tour of five years.

You can read for the first time our founder’s story. Jose Quinonez, our CEO, has an amazing story in this booklet about a young boy’s journey of opportunity and growth starting with a job at a flea market.

You’ll also find inspiring stories of lives that were changed by social lending. Read about one of our members, Christina Ruiz, who runs the amazing fashion truck in San Francisco called TopShelf Boutique (and be sure to visit her when you’re near San Francisco’s Crocker Galleria). Isa Hopkins wrote about her in the Grist Magazine article “Peer to Peer Lending Cuts out the Wall Street Middlemen“. For Christina, her first career as a bartender meant her finances were “cash-only”.

But what happens when a cash-only bartender wants to launch a fashion truck and needs a business loan from a bank?

You can also read about Aquilina Soriano-Versoza, the dynamic Executive Director of the Pilipino Worker’s Center in Los Angeles. Everyday she helps low-income live-in domestic workers find ways to save money from their paychecks so they’ll be OK if a job ends unexpectedly. The staff PWC is a tight-knit community who gets serious stuff done. They are our only partner who runs all of our social loan programs: Lending Circles, Lending Circles for Dreamers, Lending Circles for Citizenship and Security Deposit Loans. Their members affectionately call “Lending Circles” by its Filipino name, “Paluwagan”.   

But as everyone knows, great stories aren’t everything. Results matter, too.

That’s why you’ll also find great infographics showing how many millions people are saving by reducing high-cost debt. You’ll see average credit score increases and see what kind of a growth trajectory we’ve been on.

Where do you think we will go next?

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