Community Development Finance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in California. Our mission is to assist low-income and very low-income households, communities and businesses with increased access to capital and financial literacy by offering below-market rate financial services and products to low-income, underserved and unbanked people in communities everywhere. It is also our mission to create new partnerships and assist other institutions in increasing access to capital in these neighborhoods.
CDF opened the first and only nonprofit, full-service, stand-alone check cashing store in the country in May 2009, in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California.
Our storefront, called Community Check Cashing (pictured, left), offers below-market rates, minimal fees, and a broad range of financial services, including financial coaching and small business services — all designed to help low-income families move out of poverty. We operate the store on a social enterprise model: a nonprofit check cashing institution in which the check cashing services component of the operations are financially sustainable through earned revenue while using donations and grants to support the coaching, social services and administration.
CDF’s programs have proven to save customers a great deal of money individually each year – we estimate an annual savings to the community of $150,000 to $200,000 from our lower prices and other services. This amounts to about $1.2 million in savings in the neighborhood since we opened in 2009.
CDF has been involved in many innovative programs in its short history through partnerships and developing new programs. And, while CDF presently operates only one store, it has the potential for a much larger impact. We have extensive experience with lending programs, for example. Based on this experience, CDF has developed a two-tier lending program that, with the appropriate support, potentially can reach a large scale, be operationally self-sufficient once it reaches scale, and offer fair products to replace predatory payday, car title and installment loans. In addition, CDF is involved in various policy development efforts.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the lack of affordable housing, nonprofit office space, homeless housing and artists’ housing in Oakland due to the tragic warehouse fire, the issues associated with SROs and their conversions, the need for broader community development options and programs, the lack of good jobs, problems faced by small businesses, bank closures, and the overall increasing pressures from gentrification including rent and housing sales price increases. These same conditions exist throughout the Bay Area for the most part. Many excellent solutions presently exist and are in operation, and many excellent recommendations have been made. …The need for additional strategies and a more encompassing approach have become clear from several recent events….
Pay day loans are very controversial. On one hand, payday loans are reviled by many public officials, members of the clergy, policy makers, academics and researchers, analysts, journalists, advocates and others who have created a somewhat relentless attack on this financial service product over the last several years.
Payday loans and associated non-bank financial services are not popular products by the standard definition. Depending on which figures one uses, 3 percent to 5 percent of American consumers view payday lending or associated non-bank financial services like check cashing favorably.
Many important, innovative and effective programs to address these issues have been implemented around the country and have had a positive impact on large numbers of people in the U.S. However, in total, these existing programs, while excellent in so many ways, have not been able to address the changing needs of unbanked people or […]
Service Delivery – Financial Hubs
A Hub would consist of a location bringing together all the needed services to assist low and very low income, unbanked and underbanked households with bad credit (usually about 400 to 600 credit scores). The use of Hubs or financial centers could provide the most complete set of financial and […]
Writer and illustrator Susie Cagle has created a wonderful profile for Community Check Cashing’s non-profit business model, storefront, and lending program. Check out the full article in the The Nation online!
Comments on the CFPB’s Proposed Payday Lending Regulations
BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION
12 CFR Part 1041
[Docket No. CFPB-2016-0025]
Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans
Submitted By Community Development Finance 3411 East 12th Street, #124 Oakland, CA 94601 510 479-1037
October 6, 2016
Community Development Finance (CDF) operates […]
David Dayen, celebrated finance journalist, features Community Check Cashing in a CDFI/CCC-focused article in Salon!
One little storefront in Oakland cannot change the world. Or maybe it can. With enough funding, a non-profit foothold in the small-dollar loan market can ease the burden of perpetual debt on vulnerable communities. And Community Check Cashing’s […]
(by Matt Stannard, Occupy.com. Originally published at TruthOut, April 23, 2016)
Dan Leibsohn has been concerned about economic injustice and insecurity for a very long time. “I have tried to address issues of social justice in all of my work throughout my adult life,” says Leibsohn, founder of Community Development Finance, an Oakland-based […]