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Oportun unveils OportunPath: A simple, no-cost safety net for checking accounts
OportunPath helps people avoid the negative consequences of cash shortfalls to help them maintain a path to financial stability
SAN CARLOS, CA – April 11, 2018 – Oportun, a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that helps people with little or no credit history establish credit and build a better future, today introduced OportunPath, a simple and no-cost safety net for checking accounts.
OportunPath will monitor a customer’s bank account balance and provide daily alerts so the customer is aware of low balances. For eligible customers, it will also be able to bridge cash flow shortfalls with a small deposit to top up their bank account. There will be no cost to the service and it will work in the background to provide peace of mind to customers. Set-up is simple, and anyone with a checking account will be able to apply to enroll. OportunPath will launch in a small closed beta test in mid May, and will be available more broadly later this year.
According to research conducted by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), 32 percent of small dollar borrowers, which CFSI defines as those who borrow less than $5,000 at a time, do so because of misaligned cash flow. These borrowers might earn enough to cover their expenses, but experience cash shortfalls because the timing of their income, expenses, and bills is out of synch.
Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez explained that OportunPath is a logical evolution for the mission-driven financial services company. “Used together, Oportun loans and OportunPath can accelerate customers’ integration into the mainstream financial system,” said Vazquez. “Oportun loans help people tap affordable credit and establish credit, while addressing a life opportunity or challenge. Meanwhile, OportunPath will help safeguard those with bank accounts against the disproportionate negative impacts of cash shortfalls.”
Oportun’s core offering is a responsible and affordable personal installment loan. Since its founding in 2005, Oportun has served more than 1.1 million customers and disbursed more than $5 billion through more than two million affordable, small dollar loans. Oportun reports customer accounts to two nationwide credit bureaus and has already helped approximately half a million people establish credit for the first time.
By choosing an Oportun loan instead of one of the other alternatives widely available to people with limited credit history, Oportun customers have already saved more than $1.1 billion, according to research commissioned by Oportun and conducted by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), a leading authority on consumer financial health. Those alternatives — which include payday, pawn loans and others — are four times more expensive on average but can be up to seven times more expensive.
For more information about Oportun or OportunPath, please visit Oportun.com.
Oportun is a mission-driven financial services company that helps people establish and maintain financial stability despite a lack of credit history or low and volatile incomes.
The company uses advanced data analytics and technology to provide responsible, affordable loans to people with little or no credit history so they can establish credit. The company’s centralized system calculates each loan applicant’s ability to repay, approves those loans the company believes can be paid back, and sets loan amounts and terms to fit customer budgets. Customer account information is also reported to two nationwide credit bureaus to help customers establish credit.
Oportun operates 270 retail locations and delivers bilingual (English/Spanish) customer service via retail locations, contact centers, and mobile to customers in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
In recognition of Oportun’s goals of increasing economic opportunity for its clients, promoting community development, and serving low-income or underserved communities, Oportun is certified by the United States Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution or CDFI.