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Moving Community Foundation Dollars from Wall Street to Main Street

On an average day at Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s branch in Fresno, Calif., ten or so people come in to sign up as new members, and around 20 people submit applications for home mortgages, car loans, small business loans or personal emergency loans (for as little as $500). Since opening in August 2015, this one branch has made more than 1,000 loans and counting. But these aren’t just any borrowers. At this branch, 70 percent of borrowers come from low-income households, and 91 percent are people of color.

Branch Manager Rosa Pereirra has witnessed those borrowers reclaim power over their financial lives in ways that still surprise her, even after 28 years in banking.

“Some of the folks coming in making $12.50 an hour, they’ve got $15,000 in their savings account,” says Pereirra. “I make a good living, but I don’t have $15,000 in my savings account.”

These borrowers and this branch are the exceptions and not, unfortunately, the rule. In the state of California alone, payday lenders make billions of dollars in payday loans per year, earning hundreds of millions in interest and fees — all largely targeted at low-income households and communities of color.

Is Home Pointe Financial Corp the real deal in fixing credit and getting you a mortgage?

I am just about ready to give my first payment to this complany to fix my credit and give me a mortgage. Has anyone dealt with them before? I can't afford to give money to a fraudulent company.

Contact your local Better Business Association to see if any complaints against the company have been logged.