The original Fig personal loan started as a collaboration between Fig and United Way THRIVE in Houston. On October 14, 2014, we cold called 50 nonprofit organizations to learn more about how online payday loans in Texas affect people and communities. We wanted to speak to financial coaches who had first-hand experience working with payday loan customers. The only person to take our call was Jackie at United Way of Greater Houston and the rest is history!
Jackie explained that THRIVE is a collaborative of employers, community colleges, financial institutions and government agencies who focus on helping families reach lasting financial independence. We talked about our vision for the Fig personal loan and how it would be the first of many responsible financial products all geared towards helping people regain access to traditional credit sources.
Over the next 6 months, we worked with Amy, Dorian, Jackie and Rushka at United Way of Greater Houston to learn more about the problems caused by payday lending practices. But perhaps more importantly, we used this time to define the Fig Loan to be, in every way, a better loan for customers and communities. On March 18th of 2015, we presented the original Fig Loan to over 80 members of the THRIVE collaborative and asked if anyone would be willing to help us pilot this concept. Enter Richard from Family Services of Greater Houston (Family Houston)!
With support from Family Houston and United Way of Greater Houston, Fig Loans began offering installment loans in Texas. Over the summer of 2015, we worked closely with Richard, Dan and Sonia at Family Houston to fine tune the details of the Fig Loan. Their experience working with our future customers shaped the language, features and processes that underpin our Texas installment loans. It was through this process that Fig’s flexible repayment policy was born -- because it’s what you would do for a friend. From our THRIVE partners in Houston to advocates in Austin, we recieved input from coaches at organizations all over Texas. We officially launched our Fig Loans pilot on October 1st of 2015 and we couldn’t have done it without all the support we received from our friends in Houston!Thank you so much for welcoming us into "The Big Heart" city!