Member Success Stories – Fountain Fund Increasing Economic Opportunities for Formerly Incarcerated People (Wells Fargo)

CBA Fund, CBA’s CDFI Intermediary, is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) intermediary dedicated to catalyzing and growing the capacity of nonprofit lenders to offer small dollar, credit building consumer loans. Many community-based organizations see a need for safe and affordable small dollar consumer loans in their communities but do not have the resources to implement a solution. CBA Fund’s mission is to expand the capacity of nonprofit lenders, like The Fountain Fund, to provide safe and affordable small-dollar consumer loans (SDLs) and credit-building products to low- and moderate-income individuals and formerly incarcerated people like Anthony Hingle.

Sentenced for a felony in 1988, Mr. Hingle spent 32 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. After a vacated conviction and amended charge, he was released in April 2021 on time already served.

Embracing his second chance, Mr. Hingle found employment at VOTE (Voice of the Experienced), an organization dedicated to advocating and organizing for criminal justice reform. A short commute from his home in New Orleans, the job offered him the promise of reacclimating to society while earning a living wage for his family.

Unfortunately, a minor car accident left him without the means to repair his car; he had to do the best he could with only one. Commuting to his job became much more difficult, a situation that impacted his entire family.

Mr. Hingle heard from a friend about the Fountain Fund, which provides low-interest loans and financial coaching to formerly incarcerated people, helping them build credit and stabilize their finances.

After meeting with the Fountain Fund, Mr. Hingle was told he would be able to get a loan to repair his car. They offered him 24-month repayment terms with 3% interest, much lower than the typical 17-18% interest a bank would offer if he could even qualify for a loan.

As part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to opening pathways to financial inclusion, Wells Fargo provided $1.65 million in grant funding to CBA Fund in 2021 to expand access to small dollar consumer loans which can help families reduce debt, build credit and savings, and start building wealth. CBA Fund was able to provide loan capital, capacity building grants and technical assistance to 14 nonprofit leaders, including Foundation Fund, ultimately helping hundreds of consumers like Mr. Hingle access safe and affordable credit to meet their short-term cash needs while helping establish or improve their credit scores.


In addition to loans, the Fountain Fund helps loan recipients by reporting their loan payments to the major credit bureaus to help people build credit. They also offer one-on-one financial coaching services and, when clients are ready, assistance with setting up savings accounts and opening credit cards. To date, the Fountain Fund has dispersed more than $1.5 million in small dollar amount loans, with more than $750,000 paid back and supporting additional recipients.

CBA sends out special announcements when funding is available. Please sign up for the CBA Newsletter to stay up-to-date on CBA Fund loan capital and grant support opportunities.  Feel free to contact with questions.


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