Frequently Asked Questions
Why was JUST started?
Watch our origin video on the About Us page
Why do you focus on women?
JUST is committed to serving the most excluded entrepreneurs in the United States. Women and minorities are disproportionately excluded from the mainstream. While we do not exclude men from our program, it is the JETA that decided who enters.
What is JUST legal structure?
We are a nonprofit, 501c3 that has been registered by the U.S. Treasury Department as a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution).
What is a JETA?
The JUST Entrepreneur Trust Agents or JETAs are the center of the JUST process innovation on trust-based lending made famous by global microfinance. Learn more on our JETA page in the footer.
Do you charge interest? If so, how much is it?
Yes, we charge interest on our loans. As part of creating a new, more equitable system, we believe it is imperative to become financially sustainable to not rely on philanthropy. We attempt to charge the lowest rates possible. Entrepreneurs pay $15 in interest on their first JUST loan of $750. This equates to an APR of 15%, lower than standard credit cards.
What is the size of your loans?
Loans are as small as our entrepreneurs request. The smallest loan we have given to date is $400. Loans are made up to $5,000 based on trust, not a credit score. Loans after $5,000 are made based on the business’s capacity.
What are the terms of your loan?
The first loan is $750 paid back weekly over 13 weeks. Clients pay $15 in interest for a total of $765. This equates to an 15% APR. Subsequent loans are spread over 6 months with loan sizes increasing over time. All loans up to $5,000 are based on trust. Loans over $5,000 are underwritten based on the businesses capacity to repay.
What is your default rate?
To date we have maintained a 99.3% repayment rate. Check out our key indicators on our Impact Metrics page.
What happens when someone can’t repay?
Good question. For JUST and our entrepreneurs to succeed, loans must be repaid. Our system is designed to mitigate risk from the very beginning. In the event someone has an emergency or an extraordinary situation, we are more than happy to reschedule loans. We encourage small groups to help one another during these difficult moments. In the event someone does not repay, we freeze all new loans for the JETA and the entrepreneur's co-borrower.
When will you expand to my city?
JUST currently operates in Central Texas and we are expanding into North Texas in 2018. We are focused on these two markets for the time being. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
Can I lend you money?
Not yet. We are working on a solution. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
How can we partner?
We love partners. Check out our partner page for more information.
What is the impact of the program?
We are driven by more than loan repayment. We are committed to improving client outcomes. Check out our Impact Metrics page.
How are you different from Grameen America?
JUST was founded on the same principles of global microfinance as was Grameen America. The primary difference between our programs is how lending groups are formed and managed. JUST focuses on leadership development through our JETA model. We empower JETAs to form and facilitate their own small support groups.
How are you different from other CDFIs like LiftFund?
JUST does not use credit scores or require any form of collateral. We are more akin to a community organizer than a lender. LiftFund and other CDFIs underwrite small businesses primarily based on cash flow. JUST is able to partner with CDFIs like LiftFund to offer a graduation program from our trust-based lending model to a more traditional lending approach./div>