Payday Lending Alternative

A new form of lending puts money directly into the community and educates families on personal finance

The payday Together for the City,a faith-based organization, is launching a new payday lending program in San Antonio, Texas. The one-year-old group hopes to help cash strapped families to get back on their feet and provide a variety of other programs to serve the community. The payday lending alternative is planned to begin about two months from now and will offer small, low-interest loans to families as well as provide volunteers to teach the families financial education.

ding alternative is the culmination of a year of work, says CFO of First Baptist Church, Charlie Wedge. “Most of us were not even aware of the situation,” said Wedge. “We studied it and put together a team to where we imagined — by the end of this calendar year — setting up and organizing the payday lending alternative vehicle. And we expect that our model can be replicated across the state of Texas.”

Wedge says the group has no hidden agenda and was formed to think of ways to connect with the community across denominational lines. Diego Bernal, council member in District 1 and author of the state’s strongest ordinance that regulates payday lenders, is working with the group. “Even if we regulate payday lending, that (ordinance) didn’t necessarily provide for an alternative. And now there are a couple people — Accion is one, this is another — that are coming up with payday lending alternatives and that is sort of covering the other half,” Bernal said. “It’s very exciting in that way,” Bernal says.


Personal Debt Relief ( was created with the consumer in mind. Using Personal Debt Relief as an alternative to having to ask friends and family for a short-term loan, means that you will be responsible for your loan and that you don’t have to feel personally entrenched.

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