August 17, 2013; Newport News Times (Connecticut)


Since 2001, Catholic Charities in Danbury, Connecticut, has been offering family loans. It started with a loan pool fund of $220,000, but that has now grown to more than $1 million.

“Our Family Loan Program helps people gain access to safe housing, maintain steady employment, manage household expenses, and build an improved credit record,” said Caroline Silliman, the program coordinator. The staff walks participants through the process, helping to ensure that they know how to protect the asset and interact with the bank. “We have a 90 percent payback rate, which keeps our loan pool funds continually available to help new families. To date, 489 loans have been granted.”

The Newtown Savings Bank, Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury and the Fairfield County Bank all participate with the program, and all loans made within it have a 6.99 percent interest rate.—Ruth McCambridge