Sacramento, Calif. (September 27, 2022) – Today, the Economic Justice Fund (EJF) was awarded a $108,795 grant by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). EJF will use the grant to launch its Equitable Opportunity Loan (EOL) to expand small dollar lending in California. The EOL will provide loans ranging from $500 to $2,500 as well as fair and affordable terms tailored to meet the needs of low-income borrowers who are unbanked or underbanked. All borrowers will receive free financial coaching and free credit reporting services.
The CDFI Fund awarded the grant through the fiscal year (FY) 2022 round of the Small Dollar Loan Program (SDL Program). The SDL Program provides grants for Loan Loss Reserves and Technical Assistance to enable CDFIs to establish and maintain small dollar loan programs. These grants help low-income individuals build credit, access affordable capital, and enter the mainstream financial system.
“The FY 2022 Small Dollar Loan Program awards will help more CDFIs provide safe alternatives to costly payday lenders. In today’s economic climate, so many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. I’m proud that these awards will expand access to affordable small dollar loans for underserved and distressed communities.”
Jodie Harris, CDFI Fund Director
The SDL Program helps Certified CDFIs address the issue of expanding consumer access to mainstream financial institutions and provide alternatives to high-cost small dollar loans.
“The Equitable Opportunity Loan will help borrowers who don’t have access to affordable financing pay for an emergency expense, pay off a predatory loan, increase their credit scores, and get free financial education,” said Scott Berman, president of the Economic Justice Fund’s governing board. “Above all, we believe that it should be the function of a mission-driven CDFI to serve borrowers who are truly underserved, and we are committed to offering safe, affordable alternatives to payday and predatory loans.”
For the FY 2022 SDL Program funding round, a total of 66 Certified CDFIs received $11.4 million in awards and are headquartered in 23 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
About the Economic Justice Fund
The Economic Justice Fund is a mission-driven, nonprofit financial institution dedicated to providing fair, affordable financing and free credit building services to empower borrowers to realize their dreams. Our loans have low fixed rates, no application fees, no origination fees, no servicing fees and no prepayment fees. We also offer flexible terms and flexible underwriting to meet the needs of a wide range of borrowers. For more information, visit www.economicjusticefund.org.