Meet People Where They are: Building Formal Credit Using Informal Financial Traditions
18 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: 2019-08-15
The Consumer Finance Institute hosted a workshop in February 2019 featuring JosÃ© QuiÃ±onez, chief executive officer, and Elena Fairley, programs director, of Mission Asset Fund (MAF) to discuss MAFâ€™s approach to helping its clients improve access to mainstream financial markets. MAFâ€™s signature program, Lending Circles, adapts a traditional community-based financial tool known as a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) to help establish or expand credit reports for participants who may not be able to do so through traditional means. Lending Circles have served more than 10,000 clients since 2007 and have expanded well beyond MAFâ€™s core constituency in the Mission District of San Francisco. QuiÃ±onez and Fairley discussed MAFâ€™s approach to working with the communities it serves and shared the key successes and challenges that MAF has encountered. This paper provides an overview of the information shared in the workshop and additional research connecting Lending Circles to previous work on ROSCAs.
Keywords: rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA), financial inclusion, credit invisibles, underserved, unbanked
JEL Classification: D14, D71, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation