General Questions

BCIF is not intended to compete with other financial institutions already providing microloans. BCIF intends to supplement existing financial resources and in some cases, fill the gaps in access to capital for the African-American community. BCIF’s unique characteristics include:

Check mark symbol A specific focus on the Black community;

Check mark symbol Zero interest rate for borrowers, making it the only microlending nonprofit organization of its kind in Southern California; ;

Check mark symbol The fund is a community-based effort that has much more visibility and appeal to the community-at-large (not just for those “in the know”); and

Check mark symbol The lending criteria for borrowers is not be as restrictive as they are for many other alterative lending institutions.

In America and in a capitalist society, its widely acknowledged that business ownership is a primary vehicle for building financial assets and wealth. With assets and wealth come influence, “financial muscle,” and the power to achieve the type of substantive broader change sought in the Black community.

Because borrower default is a common risk associated with loan programs, BCIF has created a financial model that allows it to mitigate a specific cap on the number/percentage of loans that could potentially go into default status. Of course, loan requests are vigorously screened to assess for repayment capacity and thus minimize risks for borrower defaults.

No. BCIF is a transparent, independently operated, 501c3 nonprofit organization that is managed by staff, a Loan and Credit committee, and a board of directors. BCIF is housed at OneUnited Bank. Therefore, BCIF funds and transactions are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Due to the disparities in financial assets and wealth for the Black community, BCIF microloans are exclusively directed toward Black borrowers. BCIF actively seeks and welcomes donors/activators and allies from diverse backgrounds who are concerned about the economic state of the Black community and view economic mobility as a primary vehicle for social and political change.

Approximately 75% of all funds are distributed directly to the community through microloans. The other 25% covers necessary administrative costs of the fund. These costs include but are not limited to: staffing, business development activities, fundraising, marketing/advertising, supplies, etc.

For Donors

Governance of funds and oversight of BCIF activities is conducted by the board of directors.

Yes, BCIF welcomes financial gifts of any amount. Every dollar helps to build the volume of funds made available to the community. However, gifting at the requested level of $1,000 or more moves the organization closer to its annual target of deploying 24 to 36 microloans.

BCIF donors/activators come from all walks of life and represent various professional, political, racial/ethnic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds. There are common characteristics between them: they believe inn economic equity and they are passionate and/or concerned about the economic condition of the Black community. Our donors view economic progress as a primary means to creating the broader change sought for the Black community.

For Borrowers

There is no set loan distribution cycle. Loans are given on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Loan applications are welcome at any time. Preliminary screening of full loan application materials is completed within four weeks from the date of receipt of the application. Once approved, funding is processed and disbursed within two weeks from approval date.

No. Applicants can only apply for one loan at any given time.

Exceptions may be allowed in special circumstances to provide loans to applicants outside of Southern California. However, such loans must have a substantive impact on the Black community in BCIF’s target geographic area (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange Counties). Potential applicants residing outside of the target geographic area should seek BCIF consultation before applying for a loan.

Declined applicants must wait at least six months before applying again for a BCIF loan.










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