Lending Circles


You need good credit to rent an apartment, buy a car, get a cell phone plan, and sometime even to get a job. But you don’t need to get into credit card debt to build your credit score. By joining a Lending Circle, young adults can build credit with Game Theory Academy for FREE!

How it works: 

A Lending Circle is a group of people who all agree to make the same monthly payment for a number of months. The first month, one participant receives the money everyone paid that month. Each month after that, the next person in line receives the money until everyone gets a chance. Don’t worry! If someone misses a payment, you still receive yours. Lending Circles are a safe, free way to build credit. The group decides together how much the payment will be, and who receives the money each month. Each month, the credit bureaus receive a report of your loan payments. This builds your credit history.


What you need to join a Lending Circle:

  • Checking account
  • Proof of income (doesn’t have to be a lot)
  • Government ID
  • At least 18 years old

Getting started: 

  1. Enter your zipcode on the Lending Circles website 
  2. Select Game Theory Academy
  3. Fill out your information
  4. Submit your application

Once you have submitted your application, we might contact you to finalize any missing details. Before you can join a Lending Circle you also have to complete five financial skills videos. Every Lending Circle starts with an in-person meeting at Game Theory Academy.

Who can join a Lending Circle:

You! At Game Theory, we work with adults ages 18-30.

Over 30? Our partner organization, Mission Asset Fund creates Lending Circles with people of all ages.


Contact Hayley Axel at Game Theory Academy:

Tel: 510-858-5068

Email: hayley@gametheoryacademy.org

Lending Circles℠ is a social loan program managed by MAF.