I have heard of tongs, alliances of Chinese business people who extend credit to each other, but now I learn that Mexicans here have type of group savings plan called cundinas.

    These are groups of 10 or so family members, friends or colleagues who contribute a set amount of money each week, say $100 for 10 weeks. Each week, one member gets $1000.

    Experts say be careful, though—these can be based on scams.

    They work best when the people know and trust each other and no new people are added unbtil everyone has gotten their sum.

    The word comes from “cundir,” which means “to spread.” They are also called tandas.

    These arrangements are funded in all social classes in Mexico and used to fund businesses and so on, but here are mostly formed among immigrants.

    Be sure you know the level of risk if people back out. But if they don’t, the money is interest free.

    Am I missing something here…If you put in $100 a week for 10 weeks, wouldn’t you have had your own $1000?

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