Camino’s Top Achievements in 2020 and How We’re Beating COVID.
As we reflect on 2020, we will characterize it as a year in which our team had the greatest learning experience that we never want to go through again. 😅
Our young team was battle-tested with one of the most challenging crises since World War II, and we’re proud to have come out of 2020 stronger in terms of our people, culture, and capabilities to serve our borrowing members.
As founders, our two primary objectives were to:
- never stop lending
- and do the right thing for our people, including our employees and customers
We’d be lying to you if we didn’t feel some external pressure to stop lending because of the heightened credit risk caused by COVID or pressure to terminate more employees to save cash. Not only did we never stop lending, we actually grew our headcount as we focused on supporting our borrowing members during the crisis.
We proud to have matched the resiliency of our members (watch our year-end video) and for achieving the following milestones in 2020:
Camino Financial’s 2020 Achievements
Offered loan payment relief to approximately 25% of our borrowing members
During any economic crisis, cash is the most vital resource to avoid closing your business forever. For borrowers who were in good standing with Camino prior to the crisis, we offered sensible payment relief solutions to help them endure the COVID shutdowns.
We hit record volume in loans funded to our existing members
Although the federal government offered billions in relief loans to small businesses, thousands of our members did not qualify because of their immigration status. We decided to continue lending to our existing borrowers without industry restrictions, such as restaurants and retailers!
Launched the Camino COVID-19 Relief online hub to offer virtual assistance to the Latino business community
As soon as we learned about government relief efforts such as PPP and EIDL, we began setting up webinars and publishing articles to educate our audience on how to obtain money during the pandemic.
As a result, our members were 6.6x more likely than other Latino business owners to access PPP or other relief programs funds!
Heavily invested in our member services departments in an effort to offer “best-in-class” customer service to our borrowers
We pride ourselves in answering over 90% of inbound calls within 60 seconds and resolving customer support cases within 2 days. In addition, we launched the Camino WhatsApp account to offer our members another channel to communicate with our Associates.
We published our 1,000th blog and attracted 2.3 million unique visitors to our website in 2020
Since Camino was founded, we’ve been committed to building a bilingual educational platform targeting Latino entrepreneurs. We now have 1,000 published blogs on our website, each in English and Spanish. Most of the traffic on our website is driven by Google and Bing searching for answers to their business questions.
Invested significantly in developing our backend loan processing system to reduce processing times, increase our capacity and reduce fraud
As the saying goes: you should not let an economic crisis go to waste.
This year, we also focused on building our loan processing and data infrastructure to offer applicants a better user experience and improve the terms of our loans.
Our Camino for 2021
2021 is about building on the foundation that we’ve constructed for over 6 years at Camino Financial. In a few months, we will surpass $100 million in loans, and very soon after, accelerating our growth to reach $1 billion in loans in only a few years.
Most importantly, we need to lead the charge in community-oriented lending from the lens of a fintech platform.
We recently became a signatory by the Borrowers Bills of Rights to promote transparency and other responsible lending standards across the lending industry. We also have the ambitious goal to become the first Fintech Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), where we can work more closely with the government and banks to promote financial inclusion.
Our vision is clear.
Our foundation is stronger than ever.
It’s time to build towards new heights.
Sean & Kenny Salas