Welcome To CDF!

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.

Latest Articles

CDF Comments on CFPB’s Proposed PayDay Loan Regulations

Comments on the CFPB’s Proposed Payday Lending Regulations

BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

12 CFR Part 1041

[Docket No. CFPB-2016-0025]

RIN 3170–AA40

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 […]

Hope for those in debt: Can a non-profit help put predatory payday lenders out of business?

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 […]

Replacing Predatory Lenders With Community Finance in Oakland

(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 […]

Steal This Sector: Payday Loans

Originally published at NonProfitPro, written by Tivoni Devor:

The payday loan industry generates $11 billion in revenue. It is also a hated, predatory sector that uses its size to influence legislation in order to keep it alive and growing. It’s an industry that everybody hates, but nobody has a clear answer on how to […]

Preliminary Study Results: Payday Loans, Debt and the Underbanked

Interested in how Payday loans compare to the other financial issues faced by underbanked populations? You’re in luck! In the following draft PDF, CDF founder Dan Leibsohn shares draft research conclusions from data generated through CDF’s flagship Community Check Cashing nonprofit money services storefront.

Click to view or download via PDF: Payday Loans, Debt […]

The only *nonprofit* check cashing store in the country is in danger of being closed because no bank will provide business checking accounts

Community Check Cashing, the only nonprofit check cashing store in the country located in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California, offers much lower prices, provides financial coaching for individuals and groups, maintains ties to banks and credit unions for referring people for accounts and loans, and develops policy proposals. It has saved an estimated $1.2 million for its customers […]

Payday Loans, Installment Loans, the CFPB and a New Alternative

written by Dan Leibsohn

Payday Loans

The issue of payday lending and other high interest installment loans for mostly low income people with poor credit has become a large issue throughout the country recently. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has brought this issue into even greater focus recently with the announcement of its […]

Can a Post Office Be a Bank?

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

There has been lots of controversy over the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to sell off dozens of post office properties across the country by a real estate firm chaired by the husband of the Senior U.S. Senator from California, presumably to raise money to save the agency. […]

Financial Parasites Are Still With Us, But Hopefully Not for Long

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

Almost four years ago, I wrote about a new non-profit check cashing and payday lender that opened in the Fruitvale area of Oakland, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. This alternative to private sector financial parasites, for-profit check cashers and payday lenders, has not […]

The Post Office and Financial Services for the Unbanked: Some Practical Matters

Originally published on BankAct.org.

In January of this year, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service published “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved,” arguing that that the Post Office (PO) could provide financial services at significantly lower rates than check cashing and pay day lenders charge. These postal banking services, the […]