Millions live in the financial shadows

When hardworking families can’t get car loans or own homes, they turn to payday lenders and check cashers to make ends meet. High-cost fringe financial services trap people in a cycle of debt, preventing hardworking families from unlocking their full economic potential.


45 million people are without access to affordable credit. 16 million people don’t have access to bank accounts.


1 in 4 families turn to fringe financial services for their daily needs.


Being invisible costs more. Payday lenders charge 391% to 521% interest for payday loans.

We meet hardworking families where they are.
Then we build on what they have.

the solution is simple

The solution can be found in the hidden strengths of communities across the country. People come together to lend and borrow money with each other. We connect this practice with the financial system so that borrowers can build credit and a brighter future.


People lend and borrow with each other all the time. We recognize this practice and use credit reporting to make it visible.


We help people navigate the financial marketplace and develop programs that transform everyday financial practices into savings and credit building opportunities.


We use technology to expand our programs nationwide. With a network of nonprofit providers, we are able to help low-income people across the country.

  • “One-third of people who participate in Lending Circles lack any type of credit history when they enter the program. After completing a single lending circle, these individuals can grow their credit scores to approximately 600, and gain access to mainstream credit.”

    Senator Lou Correa

  • “NCLR is happy that MAF is leading California in expanding access to safe and affordable financial resources to its hardworking families.”

    Marisabel Torres, NCLR

  • “We have seen how families use Lending Circles to reduce their debts, buy school materials for their children, buy gifts for the holidays, and invest in their small businesses.”

    Jorge Blandon, Family Independence Initiative


Claudia’s dreams: better credit and a bakery

She joined Lending Circles in Virginia to continue the bakery career she'd begun in Guatemala

Samhita Collur

5,000+ DACA renewal scholarships now available

$2.5M Scholarship Fund Available. Dreamers urged to apply now!

Tara Robinson

2,000 Dreamers to receive DACA renewal scholarships

$1M Scholarship Fund Available. Dreamers urged to apply now!

Tara Robinson

Meet the Adelante Advisory Council

This group of passionate MAF advocates is fundraising and friendraising for justice

Kelsea McDonough

as seen in


Costs of immigration crackdowns

Immigration crackdowns prove expensive for many immigrant families

MAF at the Mexican Consulate of San Jose

MAF is bringing financial coaching to the Consulate, a trusted community space

A toll on immigrants’ pocketbooks

MAF's new guide gives immigrants tips on protecting their home, business, and assets

Working undocumented

If immigration agents show up at a worksite, employers don't have to let them in

It’s not enough to feel good about the work we do. We care about having a real, tangible impact.
That’s why we validate our programs through third-party research.
This way, we measure our impact and use data to improve our programs.

We believe everyone deserves a shot at success.
Join us in making the financial system work for everyone.