At a time when more than half of Americans don’t have an emergency savings, businesses are realizing there’s an advantage to supporting employee financial health. With so many financial wellness products, tech tools, and benefits programs on the market, it can be hard to know which solutions will actually help your employees in a financial emergency.

WorkLife’s nonprofit Small Dollar Loan Program gives your employees access to safe, affordable credit within 48 hours. No credit check, no collateral, and a fair interest rate.

 

 

WorkLife’s Small Dollar Loans are a financial lifeline when the unexpected happens—such as a major car repair, medical expense, or temporary gap in cash flow. Because employees can receive these loans quickly, they are less likely to pursue expensive or unsafe credit that will snowball their debt.

94% of borrowers surveyed said that WorkLife’s loan put them in a better place financially

Borrower Benefits

  • With our 18% interest rate, a borrower pays only $96.15 interest on a $1,000 loan.
  • Our borrower requirements are minimal, creating equal access for everyone.
  • We do not pull credit or use collateral to secure the loan.
  • Loan funds are available within 24–48 hours.
  • Repayments are reported to credit bureaus and can help establish credit.
  • Borrowers have access to financial coaching.

Business Benefits

  • 96% of borrowers surveyed said that having access to this loan made them more likely to stay at their current employer.
  • 70% said they are less distracted by their financial situation at work.
  • WorkLife assumes the financial risk should an employee default on a loan.
  • WorkLife takes on the burden of administering the loan, so employers don’t have to.

“To have something like financial assistance available at a crucial time is outstanding.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for a Small Dollar Loan?

To qualify for WorkLife’s Small Dollar Loan, borrowers must be at least 18 years old, employed for at least one year, and be able to provide their bank account information, driver’s license/passport numbers, social security number, and three references. (If the borrower does not have a bank account, we will help them set one up.) WorkLife does not have a credit score requirement for our loan, we do not complete a credit check, and we do not require proof of collateral.

 

If my employees need a personal loan, can’t they use a credit union?

While your employees can apply for a personal loan through a credit union, not everyone may qualify. Typically, credit unions perform a credit check, require proof of collateral, and/or require a cosigner on the loan application. Borrowers with low credit scores or no collateral to back the loan are less likely to qualify. Also, credit unions typically don’t approve loans for under $1,000.

WorkLife does not perform a credit check or require proof of collateral for our loans. We also offer loans as low as $400 to help employees borrow less while still giving them financial assistance to cover small, unexpected expenses.

 

How does a WorkLife loan protect the borrower?

This loan was designed to be a counter to predatory payday lending by keeping the loan balances small, $400 to $1,000. Only one loan can be out at a time and are not allowed to rollover to keep the balance from ballooning. Repayment amounts are kept to 5% or less of the employee’s monthly pay. Our interest rate is 18% and with a biweekly payroll cycle the effective rate (what a borrower actually pays) is 9.6%. We do not pull credit reports and there is no credit score requirement. We also do not use collteral to secure these loans. WorkLife is the lender and we do not sell the loans to collection agencies.

 

When taking out a payday loan, a borrower can pay up to 300x the original loan amount in interest and fees. If a borrower is unable to repay their payday loan, many predatory lenders will “delay” the repayment of the loan by charging the borrower a fee to rollover the loan—all while the principal of the loan remains the same. A new Colorado law caps the interest rate of payday loans at 36%, but predatory lenders are using a loophole that allows them to partner with out-of-state banks that aren’t subject to interest rate limits.

 

What is the administration fee used for?

As a nonprofit, mission-driven lender, the administration fee allows us to provide access to safe, affordable credit with your employees’ best interests in mind. WorkLife will never sell your employees’ defaulted loans to debt collectors, we cap our late fees at $40/loan, and we limit the repayment amount to 5% of a borrower’s monthly pay. Contact us to learn more about the administration fee.

 

What responsibility do I have in administering WorkLife’s loan program?

When an employee applies for a loan, we will ask you to verify their employment and current wages—which takes just a few minutes. Once approved, we will send you the employee’s loan repayment schedule so you can set up the voluntary payroll deduction, similar to other employee-paid benefits. We will also work with you to stop payroll deductions for borrowers who have paid off their loan balance.

 

What happens when an employee leaves my company before their loan is repaid?

Because the lending relationship is between WorkLife Partnership and the borrower, you do not become responsible for the borrower’s remaining balance should they leave your company. Nor, is the borrower required to repay the entirety of the balance upon departure. Instead, WorkLife will resume the payment schedule by debiting the monthly repayment amounts from the borrower’s bank account.

 

Do borrowers have access to financial coaching?

Yes! WorkLife works toward integrating mental health skills into the financial coaching process. An often overlooked component of financial wellness is the impact of emotional intelligence and stress resiliency on spending decisions. WorkLife strengthens a borrower’s ability to implement more productive and positive stress and crisis management tactics to improve their self-efficacy, confidence, and ultimately financial well-being.

 

We already offer our employees financial assistance. How is WorkLife’s loan program different from what we offer?

Hardship Funds

Compared to hardship funds, any repayments made to a WorkLife loan are reported to the major credit bureaus, giving employees an opportunity to build credit or improve their existing credit score. WorkLife’s loan has objective eligibility requirements, and borrowers do not have to specify why they are applying for a loan—creating fair and equal access.

 

Payroll Advances & Earned Wage Access (EWA)

While payroll advances and EWA platforms allow employees to access their own wages faster, it may not be enough for your employees to overcome the financial hurdles in front of them. WorkLife’s loan program gives employees access to up to $1,000 and the breathing room to pay the loan back at 5% or less of their monthly income over the course of one year. Read Three Things to Consider Before Offering Payroll Advances →

 

Employer-Sponsored Loans

There is always inherent risk in lending. Even if an employee is repaying their loan through payroll deductions, it can be difficult to collect payment if the employee’s work schedule is reduced or they find employment elsewhere. WorkLife assumes the risk—and the cost—should an employee default on one of our loans.

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