Bonnie CLAC

Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of helping an awesome non-profit out with their website and marketing. Yesterday, we just launched a substantially revamped website.
Nominally, Bonnie CLAC’s mission is to help lower-income people buy cars. Typically, when many people with shaky credit need a car, they head straight to their local used car lot. You’ve heard their ads on the radio: “WE FINANCE EVERYONE!!!”
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And they do — by selling their customers old cars at exorbitant interest rates. The monthly payment is affordable — barely. But when the car inevitably breaks down or a major repair job is needed, they often can’t afford to pay it. Worse, they have no way of getting to work.
So they default on the car loan, and the cycle of a paycheck-to-paycheck existence and bad credit continues.
This is where Bonnie CLAC helps. Their goal is to help their clients buy a new car — usually, a Honda Civic. To qualify, clients have to take financial fitness courses, and sometimes build a payment history for several months on a “bridge” loaner car.
Once the client has qualified, Bonnie CLAC will guarantee a car loan, and negotiate for a new car on behalf of their client.
So a new car is the carrot, but the end result for the clients is often a completely new, longer term and vastly more informed approach to their personal finances.
Right now, they have four offices in New Hampshire: Keene, Lebanon, Manchester and Portsmouth. Longer term, they think this has the potential to get much larger. I agree. It’s one of the rare cases where the incentives for everyone involved are aligned in exactly the right way. Even better, they have a tremendous team and do great work. I’ve been lucky to be able to help them out.
Final note: they provide a no-hassle car buying service for everyone, even for those with good credit. If you’re around New England, and know someone who needs a new car but doesn’t want to haggle with a dealer, send them their way. You’ll be supporting a great cause.