#INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For anyone who believes we are approaching the end of this crisis — you may be mistaken. I, like many others, am still stuck searching for answers. A few weeks ago marked a day quite different than any other day we have faced as a country. It’s the day that nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters couldn’t pay any of their April rent, according to new data by the National Multifamily Housing Council and a consortium of real-estate data providers. This data is the first hard look at how many Americans are struggling to navigate the financial storm waters of this crisis.
The CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, will offer temporary relief for millions but stimulus checks are not enough. Financial uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on the minds of many Americans, leaving them with unanswered questions like —how will I pay my rent in May?
The Halo App User Story #1 (listen)
“I didn’t want to have to borrow money from anyone but I just kind of found myself in a situation where you know; I just need some food and gas and a few things just to get me through for a week.”
In this time of need for so many, when income and hours are being cut short, Americans are looking for short-term loans to help them survive. Many believe their only option is to take out high-interest loans from predatory Cash Advance centers, not realizing that these companies will trap them in a vicious cycle of debt that may take years to escape. However, there are better options.
The Halo App, a tech-startup based in Indianapolis, is a private, peer lending community that connects people for loans up to $1,000. In response to COVID-19, it is now offering $1 million in fee-free loans. “We are excited to forgo our earnings and pass them along to those in need. People over profit, that’s who we are,” says Taylor Simpson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at The Halo App. “While leaders talk about solutions, people are drowning every day. Problems are solved on a local level and by people taking care of people — neighbors taking care of neighbors.”
The team believes that COVID-19 is an opportunity to show the power of people working together to help one another financially. Taylor Simpson states, “We encouraged our Backers to be fair and to understand the financial crisis we are in, and they’ve listened. Our average Backer fee dropped from 17% to 6% since we rolled out our COVID-19 response a couple of weeks ago. We are showing the strength of the #Halo community.”