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Hawaii Community Lending Partners to Launch Lending Circles for Low-Income Native Hawaiians

HAWAII - Native Hawaiian community development financial institution, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), has announced a partnership with National CAPACD (Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development), JP Morgan Chase, and Mission Asset Fund (MAF) to launch lending circles in low-income Native Hawaiian communities across the state.

Lending circles provide...our low-income people...access to capital for their financial needs, opportunities to build credit in a safe way, and the ability to participate in the mainstream financial system.


Jeff Gilbreath, Executive Director 

Through the partnership, HCL will pilot a lending circle product created by MAF, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, in which groups of 5-12 low-income individuals are provided 0% interest social loans to increase their access to capital and credit.   The lending circle product has been supported with funding from JP Morgan Chase. NCAPACD and MAF will provide HCL technical assistance to implement the pilot for approximately 35 Native Hawaiian individuals through February 2016.

"HCL is excited about our opportunity to bring lending circles to Hawaii," said HCL Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath. "Sharing resources and skills is a practice with deep roots in the Native Hawaiian community. Lending circles provide a vehicle to carry forward these traditional practices, so that our low-income people can have to access capital for their financial needs, opportunities to build credit in a safe way, and the ability to participate in the mainstream financial system.  This opportunity would have never been possible without the support of our partners from NCAPACD, MAF, and JP Morgan Chase."

Lending Circles will be operated by HCL in 'banking deserts', or communities that lack the physical presence of banks or credit unions. According to Gilbreath, residents in 'banking deserts' may have bank accounts but are more vulnerable to predatory lending and high-priced payday loan services.


"The ability to open a savings account and make deposits in your own neighborhood is something many of us take for granted, but in our low-income, and predominantly Native Hawaiian communities, there is little to no access to such opportunities," continued Gilbreath, citing that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported in 2012 that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the 2nd most unbanked and underbanked populations in the nation.

A schedule of Lending Circle Orientations has been set for the month of April with the launch of the first lending circles to take place in May.

To find a Lending Circle in your community visit http://lendingcircles.org/



Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) is a social enterprise of its parent nonprofit corporation, Hawaiian Community Assets.  HCL was originally created as the state's first nonprofit mortgage brokerage in 2002 before originating and servicing its own loans starting in 2010.  HCL was founded as a nonprofit in the State of Hawaii in November 2014.  Since 2002, HCL has partnered with HCA to provide low-income Hawaii families access to more than $142 million in capital through mortgage financing, match savings, and micro-loans.