Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation

BACKGROUND

Founded in 2001 by a group of local Hispanic business owners, today, the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation (FAHF) develops strategies to support the growth of the Fresno-area community through technical assistance, outreach, advocacy, and access to capital. The Foundation's Downtown Business Hub has incubated over 80 small businesses and is currently home to 20 in-house businesses and 12 virtual businesses.

FAHF was certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI) in 2021. It now offers technical assistance and microloan programs with one-on-one counseling and assistance aimed at helping individuals secure personal loans at reasonable interest rates and entrepreneurs launch and expand self-sufficient small businesses.

FAHF Christmas (17)

 "The CBA Fund loan was so attractive because of its low interest and it was an amount we could manage as a just-starting CDFI...With CBA, we didn't just get funding, we got training in the consumer loan product, advice on how to develop our program, and even what to ask loan recipients." 

Yurubi Ramirez
FAHF Corporate Relations and Program Director

WORK

They began providing small-dollar consumer loans in 2021 after receiving funding from Wells Fargo and CBA Fund, a CDFI intermediary dedicated to helping nonprofits offer small-dollar, credit-building consumer loans. They also received a CDFI Fund Small Dollar Program Award in 2022 for loan loss reserves and technical assistance.

In January 2023, FAHF received a second loan from CBA Fund to continue their small-dollar consumer lending. The loan was made possible by a grant from Opportunity Finance Network's Finance Justice Fund. 

"The CBA Fund loan was so attractive because of its low interest and it was an amount we could manage as a just-starting CDFI," explained FAHF Corporate Relations and Program Director Yurubi Ramirez. "With CBA, we didn't just get funding, we got training in the consumer loan product, advice on how to develop our program, and even what to ask loan recipients."

RESULTS

Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and CBA Fund: Strengthening Community and Changing Lives With Small Dollar Loans

With the help of the CBA Fund loan, FAHF now provides flexible and accessible smaller-dollar consumer loans to residents with no or subprime credit.

"These are people who are likely to be victims of predatory lending, such as payday loans, carrying extremely high interest," explained Ramirez. "So, they want to consolidate debt with lower interest rates and use the money for things like home and auto repairs or emergencies."

"These are people who are likely to be victims of predatory lending, such as payday loans, carrying extremely high interest, so they want to consolidate debt with lower interest rates and use the money for things like home and auto repairs or emergencies."

Yurubi Ramirez
FAHF Corporate Relations and Program Director

"This is really a quality-of-life issue. Without CBA Fund helping to fund these loans, the alternative would be ultra-high interest products that can trap people in a cycle of debt or force them to simply go without things like a car, both of which can make it hard to provide for their family. We're not interested in a profit. We want to help our community, provide assistance, and let them know they have better options."

Yurubi Ramirez
FAHF Corporate Relations and Program Director Yurubi

BENEFITS

To date, FAHF has offered 13 loans totaling $41,000. With loans capped at 12% interest compared to up to 56% for a typical payday loan, loan recipients are able to get on firmer financial ground while being able to do things they never thought possible. In addition, each loan comes with one-on-one financial planning and education, ensuring loan recipients have the knowledge to pay down debt and build credit responsibly.

"This is really a quality-of-life issue," said Ramirez. "Without CBA Fund helping to fund these loans, the alternative would be ultra-high interest products that can trap people in a cycle of debt or force them to simply go without things like a car, both of which can make it hard to provide for their family. We're not interested in a profit. We want to help our community, provide assistance, and let them know they have better options."

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?

For more information about CBA Fund and how it empowers life-changing organizations like the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, visit: https://www.creditbuildersalliance.org/cba-services/cba-fund/ 

 For more information about the critical mission of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, visit: https://www.fresnoahf.org/ 

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