My family immigrated to the US from Mexico. They started as day laborers and construction workers. They overcame foster homes, the Aliso Park projects in East LA, and a system that was rigged against them to give me opportunities and a great education. I am forever grateful and believe that justice is giving everyone that same opportunity no matter where you come from or what your credit score is. Everyone matters. Period.
Growing up east of LA in blue collar Inland Empire, I saw firsthand the frustrations and struggles of those who had limited access to opportunity and no way up the social economic ladder. The story of my family’s struggle and my childhood experiences have stayed with me throughout my adult life. I made it my life’s mission to fight for the basic principle of economic justice. Over the last 13 years, I’ve worked tirelessly to create responsible, affordable loans that families like mine could access. More than access to capital, I wanted to ensure these loans would help build credit and create a path for borrowers to realize their dreams.
Both of the companies that I founded – first Oportun and now INSIKT – are driven by the belief that everyone deserves access to responsible credit options, regardless of their social status. The people we service don’t carry around multiple payment options in their wallets. They don’t have access to the credit cards with great APRs that many of you have. They can’t get loans at single digit interest rates. Many of them don’t have credit scores at all.
Today, we are announcing one of our biggest achievements to date on our mission of economic justice.
The US Treasury has awarded our white-label lending subsidiary Lendify Financial with the highly-coveted Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification.
Certification by the US Treasury is a stamp of approval that INSIKT’s products are making a positive impact on low-income communities. This recognition is a signal to our partners, borrowers and investors that our products are helping the low income communities that we set out to serve when we founded this company. The certification is rare in our industry and helps set us apart from many of our competitors, especially from high-cost predatory lenders, none of whom could obtain this certification.
Our CDFI certification also means that INSIKT can now partner with main-street banks, retailers, money-transfer services and specialty insurers to bring its do-no-harm loans to millions. Additionally, banks can now satisfy their CRA duties by providing us credit lines on good terms to support our own lending, making investments in our company, or buying bonds backed by our consumer loans. They also can gain CRA credit by providing our loans in their own branches, as Mission National Bank, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, BBVA Compass Bank and others already have done. This is a massive milestone for this company, our products, our partners, our investors and most importantly, our borrowers.
I could not be more proud to join the community of those certified CDFI. It is both an honor and a validation that we are serving, at scale, the needs of low income households with the very the first step in building a healthy financial future in America: a good credit score.
Today, INSIKT currently has over 100,000 active borrowers. We are powering loan applications in over 700 stores in 4 states. Combined with our triple digit growth, our recent key hires, and our 2017 funding round, we are unstoppable in our mission to reach every community across America that lacks affordable credit. I’m incredibly excited for our next chapter as a CDFI. We’re here to help move America into a better future! #economicjustice