When we launched On the Road Lending in 2013 as a human empowerment initiative to help people find cars that worked for them and to teach them how to make good financial decisions, it became immediately obvious that single mothers would become the majority of our clients. Ten years later, this is still true. In 2022, 75.4% of our clients were female and 87.9% of our clients were single.
One of our early clients, Sandra, was a single mother with a 2-year-old and a 17-year-old. She had a high-mileage older vehicle plagued with constant costly repairs. When she came to us, she no longer had a car, and her son was giving her rides from their home to her job—which was more than 25 miles away. When she told us her story, she emphasized that she wanted to learn how to be more financially secure for her children.
We find that this is the primary motivator for the moms who come to us. They’re not thinking of themselves, but of the future for their children.
Like many of our clients, Sandra couldn’t believe we would take a chance on her and was afraid that our program was too good to be true. We worked through her fears by providing guidance and financial education and helped her select a new 2016 Toyota Corolla.
“It didn’t hit me until I got behind the wheels of the car,” she said after getting her car. “I broke down and cried my eyes out just knowing I would be able to get to work on time and not lose my job. Having a car is peace of mind.”
Being a mom without a car, single or married, is a hard road. Consider taking one child to daycare and a second child to school on the bus or by taxi or shared ride. Most parents also go to the grocery store as part of the multi-stop trip chain between work, school and other errands. Mass transit is not suited to this kind of everyday travel because it takes more time than driving. Our single mother clients have shared stories of spending between $45 and $60 per day and up to $1,000 a month hiring Uber, Lyft or taxis to get themselves or their children from bus stops to their homes and to school, work and other activities.
Affordable, reliable cars can help moms carry the load. That’s why On the Road Lending recently partnered with generous investors and supporters to get a family a car. On the Road Lending donated a vehicle purchased by On the Road Motors and refurbished by On the Road Garage to the Dixon family, which was nominated by ChildCareGroup. The family has three children and one on the way and has been struggling to get to work and get their children to school and daycare.
To date, we have empowered more than 1,500 families with the freedom of mobility to live their best lives. With an estimated $20,000 economic impact per family per loan, that is nearly $30 million in wealth creation, helping working families transform their futures. We’re breaking the cycle of poverty one mom at a time!
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