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Author: Zoe Leonard-Monrad

Hitting the Road with Lending Circles

Since MAF’s inception, Lending Circles have been a foundational tool to help low-income and immigrant families build and establish credit throughout the U.S. Building on what has already been good and working in immigrant families’ lives for generations, Lending Circles takes after traditional community practices worldwide where people come together with neighbors and friends to lend money amongst themselves. MAF formalized this time-honored tradition and acts as a loan servicer to bring people together in a shared lending model while reporting people’s monthly payments so that they build credit in the process. Lending Circles is the perfect example of the magic that can happen when the community comes together to support one another.

Scaling through trust

While MAF is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, we can reach communities nationwide with Lending Circles through partnerships. We recognize that there are countless nonprofit organizations already working with their local communities who understand people’s unique needs and circumstances. Honoring these relationships, MAF partners with expert nonprofits across the country to expand our reach with Lending Circles.

Our nonprofit partners come from a wide range of backgrounds, but the common thread is their ability to leverage Lending Circles as a complementary offering to the clients they already serve. We’ve seen our partners combine Lending Circles with their existing services to help families become homeowners, pair with their financial coaching programs, help refugees integrate into the U.S. financial system, and so much more.

Lending Circles Roadshow

In 2019, MAF launched our Lending Circles Communities campaign for nonprofits interested in partnering with us to bring Lending Circles to their communities. We hit the road and toured six cities just before the pandemic set in, spreading the word about what it means to be a Lending Circles partner and meeting hundreds of incredible nonprofit leaders along the way. Through this tour, we welcomed a cohort of 7 new partners, each uniquely leveraging Lending Circles to support their clients’ financial lives.

Four years later, we’re excited to share that we’re hitting the road again in Spring 2024! We’ll be touring the U.S., hosting in-person and virtual events to rally together our next cohort of partners. As families continue rebuilding from the pandemic while navigating inflation and other financial and political challenges, access to safe and affordable credit and capital has never been more important.

Be the first to get updates on where you can join us at a roadshow event! We can’t wait to connect with nonprofits nationwide during this campaign as we expand our partnership network.