What is a small dollar loan?

If you think credit unions and banks should only make large dollar loans because small dollar loans are too inefficient – then this post is NOT for you!   However, if you think you are missing a key segment or want to help your members day to day – then read this post to learn about small dollar loans!

QCash – Small Dollar Loan Basics

Life is full of surprises. Unfortunately, some of those surprises are more expensive than others. QCash loans were designed to help consumers with life’s unexpected expenses.

QCash – Small Dollar loans are convenient.

Applying for a QCash loan is fast and easy using our online application process. In many cases, you can find out whether you’ve been approved in just a few seconds. This speedy process helps to minimize the uncertainty that comes along with any unexpected expense.

QCash – Small Dollar loans are flexible.

Unlike, for example, an auto loan, a QCash loan can be used for any purpose you want. If your car breaks down between paydays, QCash is there. If your pet is injured and requires an emergency visit to the veterinarian, QCash is there. We never ask about the purpose of the loan, so your privacy is ensured.

QCash – Small Dollar loans are affordable.

QCash provides the convenience of a payday loan, but with friendlier terms. While QCash and payday loans have a couple of things in common, QCash loans are much less expensive. Plus, you have the comfort of dealing with a financial institution that you already know and trust. Just for comparison’s sake, a typical payday loan costs the consumer $15-$30 for every $100 borrowed. On the other hand, a QCash loan costs $10-$12 for every $100 borrowed. That difference can really add up.

QCash – Small Dollar Loans are designed to help consumers.Small Dollar Loans

Payday lenders are in business to make as much money as possible from the people they lend money to. Yes, they may provide money when you need it, but as noted earlier, it’s very expensive money.

QCash loans are offered by your credit union. Because credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions, they’re goal is not to maximize profits. On the contrary, their goal is to help members meet their financial needs. And when those needs are sudden, QCash is the ideal alternative to a predatory payday loan.

QCash – Small Dollar Loans meet a variety of needs.

In addition to a standard QCash loan, we also offer a QCash Plus loan. QCash loans range from $50 to $700, with no credit check. These loans are instantly funded and, unlike payday loans, you have a 60-day repayment period. With a standard QCash loan, you pay just $12 per $100 borrowed.

QCash Plus loans are for amounts from $701 to $4,000. Much like QCash, there’s no credit check. However, there is a $25 application fee. Instead of paying $12 for every $100 you borrow, you pay an interest rate of 36%. That’s significantly less than the triple-digit interest rates that payday lenders charge. These loans are also funded instantly, but the repayment term depends on the amount borrowed.

QCash Plus can help you break the payday loan cycle.

It may sound odd, but QCash Plus can even help you get out of debt. Unfortunately, many consumers get stuck in a cycle of renewing their payday loans week after week, month after month. However, a QCash Plus loan may provide you with enough money to meet your short-term financial needs and pay off other outstanding debt.

QCash – Small Dollar loans are easy to apply for.

The QCash loan application is quick and easy to complete. Because we know life happens outside of credit union hours, we’ve designed a simple online application process available right on the credit union’s website. Just fill out the required information and submit the application. You’ll typically get a decision within a few seconds. And if you’re approved for QCash or QCash Plus, you’ll get instant funding into your credit union account.

QCash – Small Dollar loans are available 24/7.

With QCash and QCash Plus, credit union members get convenience, speed, and flexibility literally at their fingertips. To learn more about QCash products and how they may be able to help you in an emergency, talk with your credit union representative or simply apply on the credit union’s website today.

April 30, 2017

by Ann Flannigan, Vice President of Human Resources, WSECU

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Why did WSECU start offering small dollar loans?

Why did WSECU start offering small dollar loans? 

How did QCash begin? It’s an excellent story about a front line employee living the motto of people helping people.

Our story begins when a teller at Washington State Employees Credit Union, the credit union that owns our CUSO, that members were coming into the branch repeatedly for money orders. Money orders aren’t anything to be concerned about, but our teller noticed one very important thing: those money orders were then used to write other money orders to payday lenders.

 We didn’t know anything about payday lending at the time, but thanks to WSECU’s empowered culture, the teller told the credit union CEO about what she observed. Our CEO then put together a small group of big, bright minds to figure out what was occuring and how WSECU could help.small dollar loans

What the credit union discovered was its members were using predatory payday lenders to meet their short-term, small-dollar needs. WSECU decided they not only needed to help their members, but short-term lending was something credit unions could and should do.

And, not only can WSECU short-term, small-dollar loans save members money, they can simultaneously create a new, revenue stream for the credit union.

And so, 14 years ago, QCash was created to provide short-term, small dollar loans to WSECU members.

As QCash began to gain local market share, the credit union began to wonder, “if we are changing the payday lending landscape in the state of Washington, where else could we go? How might we be able to share this with the credit union community and change the landscape across the country?”

WSECU didn’t know the answer to that question, but decided to give it a shot. And so, in April 2015, QCash Financial was born and began delivering short-term, small dollar loans to other credit unions and banks, in hopes of meeting the needs of other consumers the same way WSECU has helped its members.

And that’s the story of how QCash has grown from one teller’s thoughtful observation to a CUSO that has sparked a short-term, small dollar lending movement.

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By Ben Morales, CEO of QCash Financial [April 2018]

Ben Morales is the CEO of QCash Financial. QCash Financial is a CUSO providing automated, cloud-based, omni-channel small-dollar lending technology that enables financial institutions to provide short-term loans quickly to the people they serve. QCash Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of WSECU in Olympia, Wash., started as a short-term loan solution for the credit union’s members in 2004.

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