Our Research

San Francisco, EST 2014

Guided by our values, MAF’s research uplifts the good in people’s lives. We know our clients are financially savvy and respect them as the experts in managing their finances -- so we focus not only on the barriers they face but also on the strategies that they use to navigate these challenges and achieve their goals. Our research shines a light on their financial journeys and strategies, and use these insights to push for legislation and systemic reform that moves us toward a more equitable financial mainstream.

What data are we drawing from

Over more than a decade, MAF has worked with over 10K clients, building a total loan pool of over $10 million. Our research draws on the unique insights and depth of information we have from these clients. During our engagement in our clients’ financial lives, we are able to collect 800 data points on each individual – spanning the personal and credit profiles of our clients.

Why we do research

The Research team works with the community to put our data and analysis to work for clients. We provide actionable insights, inspired by clients’ financial lives, that we, other financial services providers, philanthropists, policy makers, and members of the community can use to inform our work. By rigorously developing these insights from our programmatic data, we are able to:

  • Support MAF’s core values of meeting our clients where they are, respect their expertise, and build on their strengths and innovations.
  • Help guide the development of future programs that respond to our clients’ needs and realities.
  • Share our learnings with other organizations to help them better work with the communities we serve.
  • Capitalize on our data to help our clients, partners, and others advocate for a fairer financial marketplace.

Navigating the Financial System with an ITIN

“Impossible” is not a word in Regina’s vocabulary. Her savviness and tenacity stood out to us within minutes of meeting her one Monday afternoon. She walked confidently through MAF’s door, took a seat, and launched into her story, painting a picture of a personal and financial journey marked by unwavering
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Invisible Barriers: Navigating Financial Services with an ITIN

America’s financial landscape is littered with invisible barriers. These barriers take many forms, including credit scores, bank accounts, and identification requirements For millions of people in this country, that invisible barrier is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or an ITIN. ITINs are nine-digit numbers issued to people paying their taxes

My MAF Journey: Bridging Tech and Financial Inclusion

In celebration of the MAF Lab having hit its one-year mark, we want to recognize the role and work of our Tech Advisory Council in supporting our successes. We’ll be sharing a series of blog posts from TAC members, starting with one from co-chair Kathryn Weinmann.   Everyone should try

MAF’s 12 Data Points of Christmas

Happy Holidays, from our MAF familia to yours! As the year comes to a close, we are reflecting not only on 2018, but on one decade of living our values in the community. Over the past 10 years, MAF has provided Lending Circles, immigration and business loans, DACA fee assistance,

Introducing MAF’s new mobile app: MyMAF

MAF is excited to announce the launch of its new mobile app, MyMAF. MyMAF is a virtual financial coach designed to help low-income and immigrant families achieve their dreams and help MAF’s clients succeed financially in our programs. We’ll be celebrating the launch of the MyMAF app, the MAF Lab’s

In Their Own Words: The Hopes of Dreamers

Being responsive is one of the major goals of our organization and our R&D team. After a successful DACA renewal fee assistance program, we surveyed clients to identify ways in which we could continue to provide the best support. There’s existing research on DACA recipients’ family and employment situations, as

Work and Bills: The Financial Concerns of DACA Recipients

To hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and their families, a DACA permit represents hope. Hope for jobs, for family security, for a future worth fighting for. The threat of losing DACA has placed young people in a vulnerable financial position that’s keeping them and their families up at night.

DACA’s multiplier effect

In “DACA=Better jobs, stable families,” we explored the impact that DACA has on job opportunities and family security. With a work permit and the ability to get education, it’s no surprise that DACA recipients are able to get better quality jobs and have a greater sense of belonging in the

DACA = better jobs, stable families

$460 billion. That’s the estimated value that DACA recipients add to our GDP. In addition to the well-known economic impacts to our country, there is a good amount of research about the positive benefits the DACA program has provided to its 790,000 DACA recipients and their families. MAF was humbled

MAF Lab: R&D for social good

It goes back to the earliest days at MAF, when Lending Circles was not yet a program available across the nation and when the conversation about financial capability only centered around savings. Our founders knew that to create programs and services that actually made a difference, you had to orient

DACA: 44 States & 70 Countries

In September 2017, MAF launched the nation’s largest DACA fee assistance program serving 7,600 Dreamers across the country. In a series of blog posts, we’ll share information about who we served and what we’re learning about the financial lives of DACA recipients after launching a survey to thousands of DACA

#HereToStay: Announcing MAF’s new immigration loan programs

Mission Asset Fund is excited to launch new zero-interest, credit-building loans available throughout California to cover the USCIS filing fees for U.S. Citizenship ($725), DACA Renewals ($495), Green Cards ($1,225), Temporary Protected Status ($495), and Petition for Immigrant Relatives ($535). Eligible individuals can apply now at bit.ly/MAFheretostay.  We were inspired

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