Equipping Latinos and other underserved communities in the DC and Baltimore Metropolitan Areas with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities.


Select a Topic


February 27, 2015

LEDC Selected to Launch Fully Automated Peer-to-Peer Lending Program in DMV

~LEDC starts Lending Circles Program in the Greater Washington, DC area~

February 27 – Washington, D.C. – Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

With a recent economic recession that compromised the economic standing and advancement of millions as a result of reduced levels of income and job opportunities, stricter access to capital, and a collapsed housing industry that pushed many into foreclosure, LEDC has sought opportunities to strengthen our capacity to resurrect our community’s financial health. In February 2015, LEDC was selected to partner with the Mission Asset Fund (MAF) in the implementation of an automated peer-to-peer credit building tool for low-income communities in DC and MD.

While peer-to-peer lending groups are a common practice in many communities, particularly the Latino community, managing them is quite a burden. MAF, with funding from Capital One, designed an automated system that not only facilitates payment processing through automatic debiting, but also reports payments to credit bureaus. This tool, which facilitates both access to capital, financial education, and credit building for low-income communities has found an average 168 point credit score increase among all participants to date.

How it works:

Individuals interested in participating in a Lending Circle register for an orientation session with LEDC to learn about the program and get to know our staff. LEDC staff form groups of interested and eligible participants who are scheduled for a second meeting. At this meeting, participants agree on a monthly payment to contribute to the group’s fund ranging from $50 to $200. What is key to the program is that not only do participants learn about sound financial behaviors, but their loan payments are reported to credit bureaus which allows participants to see significant increases in their credit scores.

Why Lending Circles?

Lending Circles is the perfect addition to LEDC’s culturally and linguistically competent programming which focuses on empowering individuals by strengthening their economic standing and building their assets. Joining a group of peers to share saving techniques, provide mutual accountability, and increase their credit empowers members of our community to pursue their dreams of financial independence and wealth building.

Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center, speaks about LEDC’s fitting partnership with Mission Asset Fund; "I met with Jose Quiñonez in early 2014 and he introduced me to what Mission Asset Fund (MAF) was doing with their Lending Circles initiative. I was immediately convinced that this would be a great fit for LEDC and the clients we serve. LEDC and MAF both connect people to resources that put them in the driver's seat of their financial futures and this program is no exception to that. I am so grateful and excited that we were selected by MAF to bring Lending Circles programming to the DC area!"

The Latino Economic Development Center is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities.

Press contact:

November 5, 2014

WASHINGTON  – Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) has received a $75,000 grant from NALCAB—National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. This grant will support LEDC expand their revolving loan fund and general operation expenses. The additional capital will yield significant new opportunities for wealth building among low-income people, greater job creation and retention, and improved self-sufficiency and sustainability for LEDC clients in the DC region. 
According to Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, “The NALCAB award will allow us to continue our mission of equipping Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Our small business experts work hand in hand with local entrepreneurs to help them start, fund and execute their business ideas. Our small business team provides technical assistance to existing businesses that need our support. This grant allows us to service more clients and to successfully continue this work.”
With the generous support of the Sam’s Club Giving Program, NALCAB awarded $1.1 million to 24 small business projects across 17 states that are managed by community and economic development nonprofit organizations. View a complete list of the grantees and their program descriptions at
About LEDC
Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses – but too many are unable to turn these dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, take control of the decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and start or expand small businesses. For more information, please visit
About the Sam’s Club Giving Program
Established by the Walmart Foundation in 2008, the Sam’s Club Giving Program is dedicated to micro- and small business prosperity, investing more than $11 million in national and local programs dedicated to improved training, education and increased access to capital for small business owners. For more information on national or local giving, visit
NALCAB-The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders is a San Antonio based organization that represents and serves over 100 members that are a geographically and ethnically diverse group of nonprofit community and economic development organizations that are anchor institutions in our nation’s Latino communities. NALCAB’s mission is to build financial and human assets as well as real estate and technology resources for Latino families, communities, and organizations. For additional information, visit NALCAB’s pressroom or go to
Monday, 27 October 2014 15:04

Join Our Team

Written by
LEDC is currently hiring for a few new positions! We are looking for motivated, dynamic and bold individuals to join our staff. If you are committed to working with diverse communities, helping us achieve high-level recognition and take us to the next level you will find a great staff and organization with LEDC. Click here to visit our Jobs section for more information!

Search the Blog

Join the LEDC family

Our newsletter & more - straight to your email!