You’ve heard of food deserts, but what about banking deserts?

A 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)) survey found that 26 million Americans are invisible credit. One in ten adults in the United States have no credit history to generate a traditional credit score and cannot access the formal financial system.

DEFINED “Invisible Credit”: Someone who is invisible credit has no credit history with any of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and is therefore unable to prove creditworthiness

Banking deserts are geographic areas with no banking services, which exacerbates the likelihood of credit invisibility. Across the country, older populations and communities of color are more likely to be impacted by banking deserts and the resulting invisibility of credit.

What is the alternative for those who live in banking deserts?

Payday loan stores. Payday loans are the alternative, but they are not a solution. In fact, they amplify the negative effects.

These loans are high interest rate loans designed to give borrowers a quick cash advance in the blink of an eye. For many who live paycheck to paycheck, struggle with debt, or have bad credit, payday loans provide immediate funds they might not otherwise be entitled to. .

These loans carry many risks.

Payday loan risk statistics provided by The bank rate:

  • Twelve million Americans use payday loans each year.
  • The average payday loan is $375 on a two-week term with an average of $520 in fees.
  • 80% of payday loans are taken out within two weeks of paying off a previous payday loan.

A new solution is emerging where people open their own wallets to help others in the blink of an eye.

The Halo app, founded in Indianapolis, is a microcredit platform between individuals. Borrowers can apply for loans of $100 to $1,000 and take 6 months to pay it back. The best part is that the loans are funded by other community members, not payday loan centers. We are creating a new level of loan repayment trust through our community loan model, and we see it working every day.

the SHE. Experience is an example of a thriving Halo community. The HER. Experience provides venues for Black-owned businesses to grow customers and revenue, learn sound business practices, build relationships, and circulate their dollars within the Black community.

We partnered with She Experience to create The She Bank offering interest-free micro-loans to their community.

Halo App “Borrowers” apply for loans for the same reasons people take out payday loans.

  • Utilities
  • Car payment
  • Payment by credit card
  • Rent/mortgage
  • Food

“Thousands of people use our app for micro loans, but we’ve added a new layer of security and humanity through our community model. We partner with communities and help them share the opportunity directly with their community.” – Taylor Simpson, Founder and CEO

Where is your community? Is this your church? Your school? Your beloved association? Your employees? Whatever your community organization looks like, you can harness its collective financial power with the Halo app.

We are on a mission to strengthen communities through anonymous, intra-community financial assistance and goodwill. This is the future Halo application that is envisaged. We would love for your community to join us in the future of peer-to-peer financial support.

Several bills were hitting me at the same time in February. I had to make payments so as not to fall deeper into a hole. I don’t know what I would have done in March without the Halo app. Thank you.

  • Maunika Escobar – A borrower in the Freelancers United Halo community.
  • Want to know how your community can access peer-to-peer lending? Talk to us here.

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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