The Small Dollar Loan program has been specifically developed to provide individuals an alternative to high-cost payday loans and other predator lenders.
This recently developed effort was nurtured by the faith-based Communities Creating Opportunity with significant support from other major regional institutions including United Way of Greater Kansas City and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
The effort became Fair Community Credit and this summer joined two other initiatives to create Next Step KC.
The early efforts were described in a lengthy piece in the Kansas City Star in early 2013.
The hope is the consolidation into Next Step KC will provide the micro-lending effort more support, more outreach and more referral partners.
The small dollar loans (generally under $500) come from referrals made by faith-based, non-profits and other referral partners.
The hope is to expand the referral network to employers.
Early results show that loans are being paid off which can help improve an individual's financial stability and their credit score.