Presentation on theme: "Esther Wong Executive Director Chinese American Service League"— Presentation transcript:
1 Esther Wong Executive Director Chinese American Service League Lending CirclesEsther WongExecutive DirectorChinese American Service League
2 Money Why do we need money How do we get money For daily living For children’s higher educationFor investment and entrepreneurshipFor luxury, e.g. purchasing carsFor purchase of real estateThe last four items need a lump sum of money: CapitalHow do we get moneyHard workInheritance, not everyone has a rich uncleSavings and investmentLoans from institutions – requires good creditSocial lending: Borrow from family and friends
3 Traditional Social Lending ROSCAs: Rotating Savings and Credit Associations.Africa: SususKorea: KyeJapanese: TanomeshiChina: Lun HuiMexico: TandasA traditional lending circle in the Chinese communityConsists of a head (organizer) and several members. “Association of righteousness”
4 MAF (Mission Asset Fund) Lending Circles An innovative program started in 2008 that weaves a culturally relevant age-old social lending model that helps participants build credit free of charge through a financial education framework.Converts social loansPartnership with CitiMonthly payments activities recorded and reported to the Credit BureauMAF sponsored lending circles are zero-fee, zero-interest, credit building social loans.
5 Chinese American Service League (CASL) Multiservice social service agency in Chinatown Chicago for 35 yearsA nurturing hub within the heart of Chinatown, CASL connects families and individuals of all ages with the vital support they need to flourish physically, economically, mentally and socially, enabling them to thrive and contribute to the greater Chicago community.With an annual budget of $13 Million, 500 full time and part- time multi-lingual staff, CASL addresses special needs of new immigrants:language, unfamiliar with US banking system or services provided by banksunbanked, mostly use cash, no credit history, shut out of affordable financial products, difficulty of building financial assets
6 Pilot Project – National CAPACD and MAF Main Goal: integrate financial education training, individual coaching, improved saving habits to build creditFour agencies involved across the country: LA, Houston, Chicago and New York.CASL is HUD certified. CASL started the program in 2014.CASL’s efforts in the project include:CASL involved more than 100 individuals on financial education, provided one-on-one coaching to 80 and enrolled 20 in 3 separate lending circles.2 circles lasted seven months and 1 circle lasted 6 months. Each participant agreed to save $50.00 each monthAll participants exited the project with established or improved credit score, with average credit score increase of 168 points in six to seven months.
7 National CAPACD Project Achievements 437 involved in financial education, 289 in individual counseling, 110 participated in 11 lending circles, $58,950 in total loans and the repayment rate was 98.39%.Participants gain financial knowledge, 43% increase in feeling more confidence in making sound financial decisions, 30% increase in knowing how to budget and manage own financesbuilt up saving habits, increased from 36% to 62%Participants lower debts
8 Program Review Advantages Drawbacks Low cost and low risk Participants gain financial knowledgebuilt up saving habitsimprove financial situationDrawbacksThere is a fee involved.Tremendous manpower involved
9 ConclusionThis project is the first step to assist immigrants to integrate into mainstream society and fulfill their American Dreams.This project helps immigrant learn about the financial system, foster a saving habit, create credit history and improve credit score. This will increase their access to financial products available in larger institutions for large capital needs.