Employer-based, Small-dollar Loan Program Hits 100,000th Loan

The Community Loan Center (CLC) – a community-based alternative to payday loans – recently made CLC loan number 100,000. Since its inception in 2011, the network of Community Loan Center local lenders has grown to include 23 lenders located in 11 states. The CLC has loaned over $93 million saving borrowers over $77 million compared to what they would have paid to borrow the same amount in payday loans.

Locally, the Community Loan Center is offered by the Community Loan Center of Northeast Indiana.  The Community Loan Center of Northeast Indiana is operated by Brightpoint.  The CLC of Northeast Indiana joined the program in 2016, and recently added two new employers to the roster.

The CLC of Northeast Indiana recruits local employers into the program and offers qualifying employees the ability to borrow up to $1,000 at reasonable interest rates as an alternative to predatory payday loans.  Borrowers have a 12-month loan term with no prepayment penalties. CLC loan payments are paid back through payroll deduction and are based on borrowers’ payroll schedules and are no more than $23/week for an unsecured personal loan. Free, no-obligation financial education is available to any CLC borrower offering helpful tips on topics such as getting out of debt, managing student loans, building a retirement savings plan, becoming a homeowner and using more conventional credit.

The CLC loan program is a national franchise building relationships with local community lenders, such as CLC of Northeast Indiana across the country. CLC franchisees use their own lending capital and recruit local participating employers locally. Franchisees use CLC branding, lending software, since the CLC program makes online loans, along with a package of lending services such as loan processing, loan documentation, loan funding and loan servicing. CLC franchisees also receive CLC training and technical assistance through Texas Community Capital, dba: Community Loan Center of America, which serves as the CLC network coordinator.

Each CLC local lender markets their program to employers in their community. Although there is no cost or risk to the employers, the employers do agree to certain responsibilities. First, the employers notify employees know about the CLC loan program and make the program available to employees. Usually, the CLC program becomes part of the employer’s package of employee benefits. Some employers report that the CLC loan program has helped reduce their employee turnover rate. Employers also agree to verify employment and verify income. As a loan payment method, payroll deduction reduces CLC loan charge-offs to the current rate of around 4.5% allowing the CLC lenders to charge a lower interest rate of only 18% and a $20 loan origination fee.

Employee/borrowers give the CLC high approval marks because of the ease of getting a loan when they need it and the convenience of automatic loan repayment through payroll deduction. Public and private employers view the CLC as a unique, risk-free addition to their employee benefit package. Social investors support the innovative CLC loan program which shows that loans to workers can be reasonably priced.

For more information about the Community Loan Center including how to bring the CLC loan program to your employer, please contact ced@mybrightpoint.org.


Brightpoint is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization annually serving more than 30,000 people across northeast Indiana. Through a wide range of programs, Brightpoint helps communities, families, and individuals remove the causes and conditions of poverty. All Brightpoint services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran. 

The Brightpoint Development Fund (BDF) creates economic opportunities for communities, families, and individuals who lack access to affordable capital and financial services.