14 Credit Unions Across the US Participate in Small Dollar Loan Pilot


The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and Filene Research Institute are testing Borrow & Save, a product benefiting underbanked consumers

New York, NY – (March 10, 2014)  The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and Filene Research Institute announced today that the product incubator for Borrow & Save, a small dollar loan product benefiting low-and-moderate income US consumers, has reached capacity with 14 credit unions from across the country participating. Borrow & Save, a Federation product, is one of five products in Filene’s accessible financial services incubator funded by the Ford Foundation.

“Credit unions have a long history as being the proving ground for consumer-centric, innovative financial products,” said Cynthia Campbell, Director of Innovation Labs at Filene. “Partnering with the Federation to test Borrow & Save’s viability with mainstream financial institutions was a natural fit, since their experience in working with low-to-moderate income consumers is extensive.”

Borrow & Save increases consumers’ economic security by providing an affordable small dollar loan with payment terms that make sense for the consumer, giving them an alternative to predatory lenders. A built-in savings component also enables consumers to self-fund their emergencies instead of borrowing money to handle them.

“The large number of credit unions interested in participating in the Borrow & Save pilot reflects the need among low-income consumers for affordable loans that provide a safe alternative to predatory lenders,” says Cathie Mahon, Federation President and CEO.  “Borrow & Save’s unique mandatory savings help consumers strengthen their financial condition by building credit and developing a cushion against future emergencies.”

Credit unions across the country that will test the Borrow & Save product include:

  • 1199 SEIU Federal Credit Union in New York, NY
  • Carter Federal Credit Union in Springhill, LA
  • Communicating Arts Credit Union in Detroit, MI
  • Credit Union 1 in Anchorage, AK
  • Freedom First Credit Union in Roanoke, VA
  • Guadalupe Credit Union in Santa Fe, NM
  • Hope Credit Union in Jackson, MS
  • Lake Trust Credit Union in Lansing, MI
  • North Side Community Credit Union in Chicago, IL
  • Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union in Shelton, WA
  • Seasons Federal Credit Union in Middletown, CT
  • SkyOne Federal Credit Union in Hawthorne, CA
  • Southwest 66 Credit Union in Odessa, TX
  • Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union, in Long Island City, NY

About the Federation: The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is a certified CDFI Intermediary representing more than 200 community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation’s member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 2.5 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US, and hold over $19 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Madison, WI. The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit:  www.cdcu.coop.

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is a US-based independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.

Media Contacts:

Clarissa Ritter, Director of Marketing and Communictions

212-809-1850, ext. 210, critter@cdcu.coop

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