Thank you for helping make 2019 a huge success! This time last year, our team set a lofty goal to help 150 Minnesotans, a 50% increase from 2018. We’re thrilled to share that we hit that goal with 151 enrollments in 2019 – an all-time high! With this sustained growth, we’ve also hit new graduate milestones, with 45 participants completing their repayment in 2019 and 154 all-time program graduates.
While we’ve grown over the last year, we still have a lot to learn to stop the debt trap. To help reach that goal, our executive director, Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, and our program coordinator, Anna Li, traveled to Detroit in November to attend the Credit Builders Alliance’s Credit as an Asset training as well as the Midwest Asset Building Conference. We are proud to share what we’ve learned with our participants. Thanks to our status as credit reporters, our participants have the chance to improve their scores.
Only a few short weeks later, Sara was back on a plane to Washington, D.C., to attend the Consumer Federation of America‘s High-Cost Lending Summit and Financial Services conference. There, Sara met Christopher Peterson, a professor of Law at the University of Utah and an author of the federal Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (VCFCA). If passed, this bill would cap interest rates at 36% nationwide!
All of these out-of-state adventures have been exciting opportunities for our staff to make connections with organizations nationwide and recommit ourselves to our mission of ending the practice of predatory lending.
Thanks to our learnings from our growth in 2019, we are taking steps this year to reach even more Minnesotans caught in the debt trap. We will continue our targeted outreach campaign in Moorhead thanks to generous support from Trinity Lutheran Church Foundation. Plus, we will launch an outreach campaign in the east metro thanks to a generous grant from the Hardenbergh Foundation.
Please keep your eyes peeled for our outreach materials statewide. If you see a flyer or poster, be sure to snap a picture, share on social media, and tag us @ExodusLending!
We’ll need all hands on deck to stop the debt trap. Join our efforts by becoming a sustaining donor, volunteering to distribute materials, or simply spreading the word about our program.
One of the best ways to help is by encouraging people to join a committee or our Board of Directors. We are seeking creative, passionate leaders to join our team. We’re working to build a board and committee body that reflects and celebrates the many diverse voices of Minnesota. Women, leaders of color and indigenous leaders, Greater Minnesota residents, and people from varied socioeconomic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Know of anyone who you’d think would be a great fit? Please send them our way or share our informational webpage.
In case you missed it, here are some of the latest news on predatory lending:
Exodus Lending E-Newsletter: January 2020