Self-Help is a nationally recognized nonprofit community development lender, real estate developer, and credit union. Since it's founding in 1980, it has provided more than $5.95 billion of financing to over 71,000 families of modest means, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Self-Help's affiliate, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), conducts research and advocates for state and national legislation to address predatory lending practices and policies.
In 2006, Self-Help expanded to California in further pursuit of its mission: creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially people of color, women, rural residents and low-wealth families and communities. Its primary focus in California is to build Self-Help Federal Credit Union into a statewide network of branches serving working families and generally underserved communities. Since receiving its charter in 2008, Self-Help Federal has grown primarily by merging the operations of seven credit unions and now has 18 branches, almost $400 million in assets and 50,000 members. It also has developed and launched a "Micro Branch," an innovative hybrid between a check casher and a credit union, designed specifically to meet the needs of currently unbanked families.