On The Road Lending Puts Working Families Behind the Wheel
By offering affordable vehicle loans to families with needs in Tupelo, Mississippi, On The Road Lending and Cadence Bank are helping them build their credit while also building communities.
A key focus is helping consumers in Tupelo, Mississippi keep their credit strong while meeting their transportation needs.
On The Road Lending has provided affordable vehicle loans to working families that need reliable transportation since 2013. Hundreds of families in four states have benefited from On The Road Lending’s program to provide ways for families to overcome barriers to transportation, retain employment, live better lives and avoid predatory lending.
By supporting On The Road Lending’s efforts, Cadence is helping to strengthen communities and do right by others.
How Cadence Bank joined forces with On The Road Lending
Denise Mason, community development relationship manager for Cadence Bank, has been on the advisory board for On The Road Lending since 2018, and the company got involved with the organization following a community workshop held in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 2019.
“The bank got involved because, like On the Road Lending, it recognized a need for affordable transportation,” she says. “Beyond that, their business practices were what compelled us to work with them.
“On The Road Lending is not like a regular dealership, where you buy a car and if you fall behind, they’ll take it away from you. Working with you is their sole priority.”
Mason says On The Road Lending promises to help its customers at all stages of their experience. Their goal is to help borrowers keep their credit intact.
Cadence Bank’s growing involvement with On The Road Lending began with financial education initiatives, increased to a $15,000 grant in 2021, and has now expanded to include an investment in On The Road Lending’s Community Development Financial Institution fund in 2022.
Cadence Bank continues to explore opportunities to leverage this relationship to create access to affordable transportation and educate the community on budgeting and credit.
Lonnie Smith, president of On The Road Lending, says the way Cadence does business aligns with On The Road Lending’s values.
“People are first with us, just like Cadence,” he says. “We believe in second chances and that people are more than a credit score. Our shared values are about helping people prosper and live their best lives.”
How On The Road helped one client get reliable transportation
On The Road Lending Client Derrica was a certified nursing assistant and single parent with an unreliable car, making it hard to get to work consistently. As a result, she often depended on friends for rides.
With help from On The Road Lending, Derrica was able to purchase a 2020 Nissan Sentra. She says having a reliable car is essential to caring for her family and has enabled her to set new goals, like going back to school and moving up in her career. Derrica’s success story demonstrates the impact that On The Road Lending’s and Cadence Bank’s collaboration can have.
“I am very thankful for On the Road Lending,” she told On The Road Lending. “If I know someone who needs a ride to work, I won’t mind helping because I was once that person. I’m going to take good care of my car.”
On The Road supports families that need transportation
On The Road Lending works uniquely with families needing loans. The company offers loans in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, focusing not on credit scores but on a family’s needs, with a program called character-based lending. This helps put borrowers on the road to economic mobility since lack of reliable transportation is the number one reason people lose their jobs, according to Smith.
“Embedded in our work is creating access to better jobs through a life-changing vehicle loan,” Smith says. “The places where lower-income people live and higher-opportunity jobs exist are not linked in most cities, despite the presence of mass transit. These types of loans disrupt systems of inequality by removing barriers to health care, good food, education, safe housing and good jobs, all of which improve quality of life.”
The company says that, on average, clients increase their credit scores by 157 points over the duration of their loans. By getting a vehicle loan through On The Road Lending versus a predatory lender, clients are able to save nearly $20,000 over the life of a five-year vehicle loan.
Coming together for the Tupelo community
On The Road Lending’s and Cadence Bank’s successful arrangement helps with one of the Tupelo community’s greatest needs. Find out more about On The Road Lending’s programs.
To learn more about how Cadence Bank is giving back to its communities, visit our Stories page.
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