Posted September 8, 2021
Lansing, Mich. – Habitat for Humanity of Michigan announced today that their wholly-owned subsidiary, Fair Lending Services, has received its lending license and is offering small dollar loan products to Michigan consumers. The creation of this company began as an innovative solution to assist those struggling financially and these loans will serve as an alternative to payday lending. The mission of Fair Lending Services is to provide consumer loans and services to meet the short-term financing needs of low- and moderate-income households in Michigan.
Consumer loans of up to $1,500 were made available starting in May. Payments are calculated at an affordable monthly payment, with terms that meet the household budgetary needs. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will never be more than 24%, so the interest rate may be adjusted down for lower loan amounts. Loan proceeds can be used to pay off a payday loan, can be used instead of a payday loan, and may help a family get mortgage ready by paying off collections or higher priced debt. Participants must attend a financial education class prior to loan disbursement. Other follow up financial education classes are offered and encouraged.
“The approval of this lending license is a dream realized for us to begin helping even more Michiganders achieve their financial goals,” says Sandy Pearson, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. “We are one step closer to achieving our goal of becoming a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which will help us create a pipeline of consumers looking to improve their financial stability and possibly work their way towards homeownership, whether through Habitat for Humanity or a traditional mortgage.”
Fair Lending Services has received support from partner organizations like NeighborWorks America to launch this effort.
“NeighborWorks America was pleased to provide funding to support this program’s development and Habitat for Humanity of Michigan’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for individuals and families in Michigan to improve their lives and eliminate barriers to financial stability and safe, affordable housing,” said Katie Watts, senior vice president of Field Operations at NeighborWorks. “The approval of this lending license is just one way that Habitat for Humanity of Michigan will continue to persevere and create innovative solutions to address those barriers, and ensure Michiganders have access to the tools they need to succeed.”
In a pilot program of the lending services, 33 loans were paid back with a 5% delinquency rate and no defaults. The pilot program was offered by Habitat for Humanity affiliates in three communities and will now be offered statewide. Consumers who use this loan will have on time payments reported to the credit bureaus, thereby potentially increasing their credit score.
Consumers who are interested in applying for a loan should contact Angie Hamlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 485-1006 x 115.
About Habitat for Humanity of Michigan
Habitat for Humanity of Michigan is the state support organization for Michigan’s more than 50 Habitat for Humanity affiliates and ReStores which serve nearly every county in the state. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
About Fair Lending Services
Fair Lending Services exists to provide consumer loans and services that meet the short-term financing needs of low- and moderate-income households in Michigan communities.