What distinguishes Grameen America from other microfinance organizations?
Grameen America is a microfinance institution based in the United States. In place of collateral and credit history, we use the Grameen group lending model to provide financial services to low-income women entrepreneurs looking to start or expand a small business.
What makes Grameen America different from loan sharks?
Grameen America provides microloans to individuals living below the poverty line to start or expand businesses. Grameen America offers a fair interest rate with reasonable terms and supports the microloan with no-fee savings accounts, credit building and financial training.
Is Grameen America a franchise?
No, all Grameen America branches operate under the same leadership and are owned by Grameen America, Inc.
I am looking to replicate the Grameen program in my city or country. How do I get started?
Check out the Grameen Replication Guidelines.
Can I interview borrowers/staff at Grameen America?
Due to confidentiality agreements with our borrowers, it is very difficult to arrange visits to branches or interviews with our borrowers. If you have specific questions/concerns that you would like to direct to our staff, please email email@example.com and we will respond to your questions or concerns to the best of our ability.
How can I get in touch with Professor Yunus?
Please email The Yunus Centre directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I find opportunities to volunteer, intern or work for Grameen America?
See the list of opportunities on our job board.
I have questions about donating to Grameen America. Who should I contact?
Please email email@example.com with all questions related to supporting our work.
What if my question wasn't addressed in the FAQ?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
What kinds of businesses does Grameen America fund?
Grameen America funds businesses in a range of industries including but not limited to: food, salon products, clothing and accessories, cosmetics, flowers and gifts, and health products.
Do group members act as guarantors for fellow borrowers?
Group members are not financially responsible if other members default. However, the Grameen group functions as a peer support system to encourage all borrowers to repay their loans.
What is Grameen America’s interest rate?
Our interest rate is typically 18% across the country, though it is currently 15% in Omaha, NE. Interest is calculated on a declining balance. There are no additional charges such as origination, late or monthly fees.
Is Grameen America sustainable?
Each Grameen America branch is built on a sustainable business model. Grameen America defines sustainability as interest income covering operating expenses.
Will Grameen America help me find peers to form a group?
The group lending model is to utilize existing social capital and trust between members to encourage responsible financial practices and repayment. Grameen America will not form groups on behalf of members.
Can Grameen America improve my credit score?
Grameen America reports repayments to Experian in order to build borrowers’ credit scores. This service complements our loans and other financial services, and therefore is not offered independently.
I want to take out a loan with Grameen America, but I do not live near a branch. Can I still become a borrower?
Our model requires that borrowers live within close proximity to our branch locations as we meet with all borrowers in person on a weekly basis. Grameen America does not offer loans via the internet.
Who does Grameen America lend to?
Grameen America targets women entrepreneurs living below the federal poverty line. The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or a part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Opportunity, Washington, DC 20508.
Grameen America, Inc. offers loans as a "special purpose credit program" under the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act for the benefit of economically disadvantaged women who are interested in funding a small business and who agree to maintain the discipline that our lending model requires. Grameen America, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.