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

A Non-Predatory Financial Services Program for the Unbanked and Underbanked: A New, Encompassing Strategy

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 […]

A Non-Predatory Financial Services Hub Description

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 […]

How to Deal with Credit Card Debt

Reader’s Note: This post is the first in a series CDF is writing for the California Council of Churches on various financial services issues. The original version of this post can be viewed on their website: calchurches.org/financial-coaching.html. You may view or download a PDF version of […]

Community Check Cashing Profiled in The Nation Magazine!

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!

Can a New Kind of Payday Lender Help the Poor? Oakland’s Community Check Cashing offers […]

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 […]