How do I get started?
Who is eligible?
You must be a resident of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler, or Armstrong County and have a source of income in order to repay the loan.
Borrowers are eligible if their income is less than twice the Area Median Income (AMI). Currently that is:
Family Size Area Median Income2x AMI (HFL eligible up to this income) Single person $59,400 $118,800 Family of 2 $67,850 $135,700 Family of 3 $76,350 $152,700 Family of 4 $84,800 $169,600 Family of 5 $91,600 $183,200
How much can I borrow?
HFL makes loans up to a maximum of $10,000. Loan amounts vary depending on the need and purpose. You will need to provide written evidence of the need (e.g., a tuition bill, an estimate for a home repair, etc.).
How does the application process work?
You may submit an application online. HFL staff will call or email you to follow up, answer any remaining questions, request required documentation, and — if appropriate — schedule you to meet with a Loan Committee on a Tuesday night.
You will need to provide a photo identification (applicant and cosigner), proof of your income, and evidence of your need for the loan. HFL staff will pull a hard copy of your credit report (applicant and cosigner). You will then have a confidential meeting with a Loan Committee made up of 2-4 Hebrew Free Loan Board members either online via Zoom or in person at the HFL office (4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). Loan Committee will seek information about your need for the loan as well as your ability to repay a loan. The committee will approve or deny the loan. If approved, you’ll sign Confirmation of Loan Terms and the Guaranty Agreement and HFL will issue a check or ACH for approved funds.
How much time do I have to repay?
Loan repayment typically begins 30 days after the loan is issued. The terms of repayment are based on the loan amount and individual circumstances of each borrower. Typically loans are repaid in two to three years. The Loan Committee will discuss this with each applicant and determine a comfortable repayment schedule.
When will I know if my loan is approved?
You will know on the day of your interview if your loan is approved, and you will sign a promissory note for the amount of the loan.
How long does it take to receive my check?
If all the paperwork and signatures are in order on the night of the Loan Committee meeting, you may receive your check that same night!
How else can I support Hebrew Free Loan?
You can make a donation today to help Hebrew Free Loan to help others. Hebrew Free Loan began with a few community members donating money to help their peers in 1887, and it continues to operate in the same way today. A donation to Hebrew Free Loan is unique in that, in a way, it lasts in perpetuity. As a borrower repays a loan, that money is then “recycled” and used to fund another loan.
FAQ for Cosigners
Do cosigners ever have to make loan payments?
Yes. In the event the borrower does not or cannot make payments on the loan, by cosigning, you are assuming legal responsibility for repaying the loan.
If I am required to make payments, can they be at the same monthly rate the borrower has agreed to?
Yes. If the borrower does not make payments and you are called upon to do so, your payments would be at the same monthly rate agreed to by the borrower. You do NOT have to repay the loan in one lump sum.
Will I find out the repayment terms the borrower agrees to?
Yes. When you sign the loan paperwork, you will see the total amount of the loan that has been approved as well as the monthly repayment amount.
When will I be contacted to find out if the borrower is not making repayments?
Staff from the Hebrew Free Loan will call you if we have not received payment from the borrower in any given month.
Will this affect my credit?
Your credit report will show that Hebrew Free Loan has done a “hard check” of your credit. Other than this, the loan will not impact your credit unless you are required to make a payment and do not.
Will this affect my property?
The loan will not impact your property unless you are required to make payment and do not. In that case, Hebrew Free Loan reserves the right to place a lien on your property.
What do I have to do now that I’ve filled out the application?
You do not have to do anything for now. If the applicant is approved for the loan, you will need to sign two documents for Hebrew Free Loan. These documents will be provided electronically or you may sign them in person at the HFL office if Loan Committee is held in person (4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). The two documents are the Confirmation of Loan Terms and the Guaranty Agreement.