Santa Maria Community Services is a Lending Circles partner

Santa Maria Community Services is eager to announce a new partnership with Mission Asset Fund. As an official partner, Santa Maria will utilize Lending Circles to complement the existing financial services within our Workforce Development Program.

The Mission Asset Fund (MAF) is a non-profit organization that works to improve the financial stability of families in low-income communities.

In 2008, MAF introduced the Lending Circles program. Lending Circles is a social loan program that allows participants to establish great saving habits, boost confidence, make their money matter, keep money safe, and start or build a credit score. Six to twelve people form a group and decide on an amount for their group loan and take a free, online financial education class. Each group member makes the same monthly payment, between $50-$200, which is reported to credit bureaus. One participant receives the zero-interest loan, which ranges from $300 to $2,400.

In ten years, MAF has partnered with 53 nonprofit organizations in 17 states. MAF has worked to create a 99.3% loan repayment rate among participants, saved participants $360 on interest and fees per loan, and generated $5 million in zero-interest social loans.

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