More than just credit, Adelante offers an integrative microfinance-business development education model that meets our clients’ needs. In addition to the products and services listed below, Adelante is always considering new loan products and innovative services to better achieve its mission.
Each of Adelante’s clients starts out with the Group Loan Product. The first loan can be as low as $50 per borrower. The women make payments every two weeks and attend bi-monthly assembly meetings. The week after making their last payment, the group is able to take out another loan, usually for a larger amount as the client's small business will have grown and will need more capital. Over the course of two to three years, loans can increase to several hundred dollars. While each borrower receives a specific amount, the group as a whole is responsible for repaying the microloan.
Only AA clients are eligible for Individual Loans, which range from $600 to $5000. AA clients have an excellent repayment record, consistent assembly meeting attendance, and have been Adelante clients for a minimum of three loan cycles. The loan amounts are large enough that it would not be fair to the solidarity group to vouch for such a large loan. Therefore, these loans are made on an individual basis, usually to be paid over the course of a year with monthly installments. Since the client will have accrued a certain amount of assets by this time, loans over $2,000 are collateralized like a traditional loan. Individual loan clients are normally required to take out a very small group loan simultaneously in order to maintain their position within the solidarity group.
In 2011, Adelante launched a new loan product, the Home Improvement Loan. AA clients are eligible based on necessity, meaning that there must be a visible need for improvements to be made to their home or business space. The decision to offer this type of loan product stemmed from the realization that clients often use capital that could be invested in their small businesses to renovate their homes. The interest rate is lower (1.5% monthly) given that clients are not generating profits through the application of the loan. Loan amounts range from $500 to $1500 over a term of 6 to 36 months depending on the client’s needs.
Adelante clients receive business training at bi-monthly assembly meetings on a range of topics to help them grow their micro enterprises. Many clients have never completed primary school, which is unsurprising given that Adelante targets the rural poor. By providing business training, Adelante is ensuring that clients have the knowledge to increase profits and improve their overall quality of life.
Just as customer service provides a competitive edge to traditional banks, Adelante emphasizes building relationships with its clients. Adelante Credit Officers work hard to build rapport with their clients and often hail from the same geographic area that they manage. Since Adelante’s lending methodology is based on trust, it is not surprising that trust is also built between the team and the women they serve.