Denver community works together to increase access to safe and affordable small dollar loans for working families

Denver, CO (July 22, 2014) — Through a grant from the Ford Foundation, the Filene Research Institute together with WorkLife Partnership of Denver, CO and four local credit unions (CU of the Rockies, Metrum CU, Denver Community, and Fitzsimons CU) is happy to announce that the Employer Sponsored Small Dollar Loan is ready for implementation at Employer sites in Denver, CO.

What is an Employer Sponsored Small Dollar Loan (ESSDL)? A loan ranging from $300-$1,500 available to the low-and-moderate-income working people right at the job site and at no liability to the employer. This loan is not based on the employee’s credit score but rather it is based on tenure at the employer site. The payment term is six months to one year to ease the burden on the cash flow and the payment is an automatic payroll deduction.  The loan reports to the credit bureau so employees can build their credit score with successful repayment.

Nearly 1/3 of American workers are so stressed out about their finances that their work is impacted. We are incredibly excited to create a partnership between employers and credit unions so that we can better support the financial needs of employees and improve the turnover, tardiness, and absenteeism rates for employers. ESSDL provides a small dollar loan alternative with a fair interest rate to hard working Denver residents so they can avoid the predatory lenders or borrowing from retirement plans.

CU of the Rockies most recently set aside $250,000 to include lending to WorkLife Partnership’s  employer members.  Committed employers include: AlliedBarton Security Services, Aqua Hot, Columbine Health Services, Christian Living Communities, Gallegos Sanitation, National Jewish, and the Exempla Health Network, reaching more than 8,000 potential employees.  We hope more employers become interested in offering the loan product to their workforce, and are able to witness the benefits in employee productivity and decreased stress.  If you are interested, please contact Cynthia Campbell, Director of Innovation Labs at Filene Research Institute 608-661-3755 or

About WorkLife Partnership: WorkLifePartnership is a not-for-profit dedicated to building sustainable communities and thriving workplace in Colorado by partnering directly with employers to help their workforce get to work, stay at work, and be productive at work.  Founded in 2009, WLP provides 600% return on investment to member employers and a 95% retention rate. WLP serves Colorado employers and a reach of over 12,000 Colorado employees.

 About Filene: Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.

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