Auto loan nonprofit lender expands to Indiana


SOUTH BEND – Residents of the South Bend area with bad credit or other transportation barriers have a new resource to help them purchase a vehicle.

On the Road (OTR) Lending, a not-for-profit community development financial institution that started in 2013 in Texas, is expanding into Indiana to help people select vehicles, be accompanied throughout the financing process and ultimately in obtaining loans for reliable used cars.

Group CEO and founder Michelle Corson met with representatives from area agencies, lenders and others in South Bend on Monday to discuss how OTR Lending can help people who have made financial mistakes in the past. to buy a vehicle.

Corson said Indiana is the fifth state where the group works, after Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Often times, people looking to purchase a vehicle can find themselves in situations where a risky lending experience puts them in a bad credit situation, often with interest rates of up to 28% on vehicles that may have. mechanical issues, she said.

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OTL Lending has implemented a program where people with a stable monthly income of at least $ 1,500 and who are motivated to follow the mentoring program throughout the life of the loan, can obtain a loan for them. help pay for two or three years. -old vehicle that is reliable and has a lower interest rate than those charged by subprime car dealers.

Sam Centellas, executive director of CDFI Friendly South Bend, a group that connects borrowers and lenders, brought the groups together because, he said, having a vehicle can make all the difference when it comes to getting a good job.

“This provides another opportunity for people to have access to transportation to earn a living for their families,” Centellas said. “Transportation is a complicated subject. What we’re trying to help today is to help people find funding to solve some of these problems.”

Sam Centellas, Executive Director of DCFI Friendly South Bend, speaks Monday before introducing the founder of On The Road Lending, a non-profit organization that provides transportation loans and financial mentorship to people with credit problems.

Corson said that transit systems in cities are solutions for some people, but the vast majority of people need flexible, immediate and efficient ways to get from point to point, whether for work, take the kids to school, go to the grocery store or travel to other places.

She said that most of the time, public transportation cannot meet all of these needs, and a person with a reliable and affordable vehicle has more options for a fuller life.

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“It’s more than just transportation,” Corson said. “It gives someone the opportunity to have a much better job. We’ve had people who have tripled their income just to be able to drive in another county. And that’s a hard thing to accomplish. another way.”

A coalition of community organizations, including CDFI Friendly South Bend and enFocus, and a public-private partnership, Commuters Trust, are working together to provide transportation solutions to area residents in need.

OTR Lending has worked across the country to help people get the money and the financial scores to afford transportation. Officials say they increased average customer credit scores by 157 points with a default rate of 4%.

For more information on the On The Road loan application process, visit their website

Email South Bend Tribune reporter Greg Swiercz at [email protected]

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