Oportun, a community development financial institution that provides small loans to individuals with little or no credit history, is planning to open 20 lending offices in Florida.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based lender said this week that it has already opened four offices in Miami and Hialeah and that it expects to add 16 more in the Sunshine State, primarily in South Florida, by the end of the year.

A company spokesman said Wednesday that Oportun will also open its first New Mexico office, in Albuquerque, on Thursday. Residents of New Mexico have been able to apply for Oportun loans online since May 2017.

Raul Vazquez
Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez said that the lender identified south Florida as a growth market because it is home to a large number of residents with limited or no credit history.

Oportun also operates roughly 260 offices in Arizona, California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Texas and Utah.

Founded in 2005 as Progreso Financiero, Oportun uses data analytics to determine the creditworthiness of borrowers who do not have credit scores and therefore would have difficulty obtaining loans from banks and credit unions. The system calculates the borrowers’ ability to repay and sets loan amounts and monthly payments to fit within their budgets. Account information is also reported to credit bureaus so that borrowers can begin to establish credit histories.

Loan amounts range from $300 on the low end to $8,000 for returning customers. Annual percentage rates on the loans vary from state to state but are generally in the range of 30% to 39%.

Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez said that the lender identified South Florida as a growth market because it is home to a large number of residents with limited or no credit history.

“We want to support those Floridians by lending them the money they need today and by helping them establish the credit history they need to build a better future tomorrow,” Vazquez said in a news release.

Since its founding, Oportun has made more than $4.6 billion in small-dollar loans to roughly 1.1 million customers.

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