Shelterforce: CDFIs Are Helping Entrepreneurs with Criminal Records Build Credit

Recently community development publication Shelterforce highlighted the work of CDFIs and other nonprofits to support enptreneurs with criminal records. In the April 20 article, entitled “Making Loans to Help Formerly Incarcerated People Get Back on Their Feet,” journalist Amanda Abrams features the efforts of several OFN member CDFIs—including Hope Enterprise Corporation, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and Colorado Enterprise Fund—to help people with criminal records build credit and access capital.

The article also highlights R3 Score, a new alternative credit scoring tool for individuals with records that CDFIs have begun trialing. Founders Teresa Hodge and her daughter Laurin Leonard, who spoke about the tool at both the OFN Small Business Finance Forum and OFN Conference in 2019, are seeing rising interest outside the CDFI industry too. “We’re finding that a contextualized background check has widespread use, though we started out just trying to help with loans,” says Leonard.  

Read the full article.