Bring Lending Circles to your community:
Lending Circles is a great way to empower your community.
“Combining practical financial education with real opportunity to build credit is a winning strategy.”
Lending Circles helps people take control of their finances so they can focus on their dreams.
Lending Circles helps participants establish a positive credit history, save toward financial goals, and cultivate healthy financial habits.
Social loans provide participants with better access to affordable credit options, both now and in the future.
Participants increase their credit score, which is critical for renting a decent apartment, getting an affordable car loan, or covering emergency expenses.
Participants learn how to make the banking system work for them and take control of their personal finances.
“I wanted to continue my family’s rich food tradition. Lending Circles gave me the confidence to do it.”
“Lending Circles gives you tools to manage your money and create a better future.”
“It’s great that by making my own payments, I get to help others build credit, too.”
Easy-to-use online video tutorials and tools help you quickly train staff on how to implement the lending circles program with your own clients.
Our website and streamlined outreach tools provide you with all the support you need to recruit new clients.
Mission Asset Fund takes care of all the details of loan servicing and credit reporting so that you can focus on giving great service to your clients!
Your staff will have access to our professional Lending Circles provider team five days a week.
We are a unique nonprofit that believes in creating pathways out of the financial shadows for economic opportunity, for aspiring new Americans, and for safe housing. Using the hidden strengths of communities, we work to create a fair marketplace for hardworking families. We increase access to low-cost credit through our Lending Circles programs, promote financial education and management, and advocate for policies that promote inclusion for low-income consumers.
Many participants use social loans to pay down higher-cost debt.
Participants build their credit quickly and effectively.
On average $360 on interest saved per loan.(based interest of alternative loan products)
Participants accessed 3 additional lines of credit.
501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that provide direct services to low-income communities are eligible to apply to become Lending Circles providers. Does this sound like your organization?
Get started now by completing this form
We’ll then send you an invitation to apply. The application process is simple and will help us determine the scope of work, whether Lending Circles is a good fit, and an estimated cost.
Together, we reach an implementation agreement and finalize the cost. Don’t worry if funding is a concern. We have some ideas that can help (your Executive Director or CEO must be involved in this step).
Then the fun begins! We’ll get you set up with our awesome tools and we’ll supply all the training you need to successfully implement Lending Circles in your community.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Lending Circles provider! We’re excited to hear from you. Please fill out the form to the right and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Thank you!
By the mid-2000s, Perez had a profitable rooming house and was managing around fifty tamale carts with her business partners. Then, it all fell apart: recession, foreclosure, a messy divorce. Now, she’s starting over. She’s borrowed several thousand dollars through a series of Mission Asset Fund lending circles and another nonprofit microlending program for startup businesses.
Mission Asset Fund reports activity in its lending circles to credit agencies so participants can establish credit scores and later get loans from banks. Lending circles are a common fixture in immigrant communities. Members of a lending group put a set amount of money - say, $100 - into a common pool each month and then take turns receiving the monthly proceeds. The circles are a popular way for people who are apprehensive about banks or have little access to them to save and lend money to one another.
A new approach to helping poor families get loans is thriving in San Francisco. Unlike some projects with similar goals, The Mission Asset Fund doesn't make loans itself. It focuses on improving the credit scores of low-income borrowers. To explain how the Mission Asset Fund works, Jose Quinonez, its founding executive director, takes me on a walking tour of the Mission District.
Christina Ruiz and Helen Ochoa don’t seem to have much in common. Ruiz is a stylish, photogenic fashion school grad who owns and operates TopShelf Boutique, San Francisco’s first fashion truck. Ochoa is a single mother of three, an immigrant from Guatemala who lacked a credit score and struggled for years to find a decent apartment for herself and her children. But their differences are not so vast as they seem.
“For many of the undocumented youths, paying for [college] is already a struggle, let alone a burdensome fee that can be used to pay for their rent, food and books,” says Ivy Teng Lei, an activist who came to the US from China when she was seven-years-old and used her savings to cover the cost of her DACA application. “The $465 fee is an application fee, but a lot of the documents required in the application also lead to an accrual of additional fees – such as school transcripts, records from officials, photos, mailing. These definitely add up.”
José Quiñonez entered the U.S. from Mexico when he was a child, arriving as an undocumented immigrant with members of his family. The 41-year-old is now trying to assist a new generation of Bay Area residents who also came illegally as minors and want to become legal residents. Mr. Quiñonez runs Mission Asset Fund, a five-year-old San Francisco nonprofit that works to promote savings among immigrants who lack bank accounts and credit scores. The group's latest effort is focused on helping undocumented immigrants raise the…
Lending circles are a common fixture in immigrant communities. Members of a lending group put a set amount of money—say, $100 —into a common pool each month and then take turns receiving the monthly proceeds. The circles are a popular way for people who are apprehensive about banks or have little access to them to save and lend money to one another. Mission Asset Fund, a charity in San Francisco, has figured out a creative way to formalize those relationships and report the monthly payments to the credit bureaus as a way to help people build or establish credit and gain access to the financial mainstream.
We’ve all probably lent money to a friend or family member. While we hoped to see the money again, we didn’t expect our generosity to help our credit scores. But what if it did? A non-profit in San Francisco’s Mission District has found a way to report these informal loans to credit bureaus.