Little amount - Big difference:
For over four years the Association required each member to pay a $5 membership fee. This was deposited every month into the Savings & Loan FUND--a total of $100 per month for the group. The Friends matched the deposits in this bank account dollar-for-dollar. That means very twelve months the Association deposited a total of $2400 into their bank account. In four years these poor families have banked almost $10,000.
These funds make possible loans restricted to medical emergencies, training for employment, sending kids to college, setting up new businesses, and financing improvements in housing .
Those members who qualify for a loan are required to repay it at the rate of $10 per month ($5 in addition to their membership fee of $5). All these loans are interest-free, in order to keep the repayments to a minimum. To date, most of our members have taken out loans for many purposes, and not one of them has defaulted.
NOTE: most other micro-loan programs you read about are limited to borrowing only for business purposes and the interest rates are usually very high. Our program recognizes the wide range of financial needs that impoverished families actually have, needs that reach far beyond business requirements. We also recognize the need to keep debt at a manageable level, so we have set the repayment terms as low as possible.