Why Small Dollar Lending During COVID-19?

Near the beginning of 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 hit the United States, eventually bringing with them not only the most deadly pandemic since the H1N1 pandemic of 1918 (the “Spanish Flu”), but also the deepest economic recession since the Great Depression. Our country has been hit with the twin terrors of a deadly global pandemic and unforeseen job losses. Many Americans are left with few places to turn for help; proudly, the nation’s credit unions have once again answered the call.

In March of this year, near the beginning of the pandemic, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued guidance regarding small dollar lending during COVID-19. At QCash Financial, we believe such programs fall directly in line with our goal of helping credit unions offer inclusive products designed to expand economic security and opportunity. During this pandemic and the resultant economic downturn, many American families are experiencing hardships they were unprepared for. Short-term, small dollar loans, issued responsibly, are among the best means credit unions have to help.

The NCUA correctly states that credit unions have a long, proud history of using similar financial mechanisms to help their members maintain stability in challenging economic times. Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions concern themselves more with the financial well-being of their members than generating profit for their shareholders. For more than a century, America’s credit unions have leveraged tools like small unsecured loans, savings clubs and emergency loans to provide a financial security blanket, if you will, for their members.

Faced with the perfect storm of a pandemic recession, many Americans are counting every cent.

Charted Territory

COVID-19 and the resulting economic uncertainty have filled 2020 with uncertainty. Job losses have many American families counting pennies, while also balancing the challenges of distance learning that limit parents’ options for working outside the home. Although we’ve never before faced such a perfect storm as a global pandemic and deep recession (the pandemic recession, as some now call it) occurring at the same time, the history of credit unions in this country is lined with waypoints that align with significant, catastrophic events. For example, from the ashes of the twin fires of World War I and the Spanish Flu, the Credit Union National Extension Bureau (CUNEB) was born, establishing credit union oversight at both the state and federal levels. And in 1934, as the United States prepared to enter World War II while recovering from the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA), codifying the chartering process for federal credit unions. In both instances, the US government took steps to ensure the stability and regulation of credit unions, believing in their power to help Americans find their way through uncertain times. So while we may not have sailed these particular waters before, this isn’t our first time at sea.

Credit unions are uniquely suited to helping their members through times like these, and QCash Financial is uniquely suited to helping credit unions do just that. As a purpose-driven fintech firm, we are proud to offer solutions for small dollar lending programs, including automating small dollar loans (both fee- and incentive-based) and pre-approved loans. By helping credit unions provide such products, we hope to keep underbanked Americans out of the cyclical trap of predatory high-interest payday loans. QCash Financial is driven by the same vision as has historically driven credit unions; namely, to provide financial products that place the stability of credit union members above the profit margins of high-dollar investors.

Our innovative fintech solutions integrate seamlessly with the mobile banking platforms credit union members already use, helping credit unions ensure the financial health and stability of their members and the communities in which they live, allowing us all to focus on the brighter days ahead. QCash Financial’s digital small dollar lending product is designed to help strengthen the financial future of individuals and families across the country. For more about how our fully configurable, SaaS-based small dollar lending platform can benefit your members, just go to our QCash Financial Product Demo page and fill out the form!

Our blog features regular articles about the various financial issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also view our recent webinar series, COVID-19 Impact on the Financial Health of American Households, featuring CEO Ben Morales. For more information on QCash Financial’s small dollar lending or financial wellness services, please contact us.

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