common cents financial initiative
One of MACED’s core strategies is to test out new ways to deal with the problems facing Central Appalachia. Our Common Cents Financial Initiative was a recent demonstration effort designed to combat predatory payday lending and provide access to small dollar loans and savings mechanisms for low-to-moderate income working people.
After more than three years of work, MACED has decided to wind down the pilot demonstration program.
The program worked through partner businesses to provide access to short-term credit to employees tied to an automated savings component. Financial education was also provided. Since the program’s launch in May 2007 we have made 410 loans for a total amount of $133,350. This activity generated an initial savings of $66,650.
Over the last 18 months, we worked to design an expanded program aimed at reaching many more in the region. However, many forces collided and we realized that it would not be possible to expand the program to reach a greater number of people across a wider area at this time. Several of the key issues included difficulty finding a financial institution partner, program cost and the generalized state of the economy.
Save-It! Loans made a difference to many people. We learned an incredible amount and wish to share these lessons learned. The final brief is now available. Click here or on the photo of the piggy bank to the left to download the pdf.
MACED wishes to thank our program partners including the Appalachian Federal Credit Union and Community Financial Resources. We also want to thank the following businesses for their participation in this effort.
American Health Management
Croney & Clark
East Kentucky Child Care Coalition
Garrard County Fiscal Court
Hazard Perry County Community Ministries
Hazard Perry County Housing Development Associates
We also want to thank the funders who generously supported this effort including the Center for Financial Services Innovation, Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Rural Low-income Support Corporation (LISC).
MACED continues to be active and involved in this issue. We participate in the Kentucky Coalition for Responsible Lending. To learn more, visit http://kyresponsiblelending.wordpress.com/.