The Hebrew Free Loan Society advances economic stability and opportunity for lower income New Yorkers within and beyond the Jewish community by making safe, affordable interest-free loans.
HFLS is a non-sectarian lender, serving the New York City area since 1892.
We were founded in 1892 by ten leaders of the Jewish immigrant community on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. These friends pooled $95 to create an interest-free loan fund and made loans starting at 50 cents.
Today, we continue that tradition of making interest-free loans available to New Yorkers who need immediate help or want to invest in their futures, but cannot afford or do not qualify for commercial credit.
Unlike Hebrew Free Loan organizations in other cities that lend only within the Jewish community, HFLS has always been a resource of the Jewish community available to all New Yorkers. At the same time that we lend to all, HFLS seriously pursues a historic mandate to identify and meet need within New York City’s Jewish community, aspiring always to reach additional quarters of New York City’s large and diverse and Jewish population that can benefit from our loans.
HFLS maintains a 99.9% repayment rate. Since our founding 130 years ago, HFLS has provided over $380 million to more than 900,000 borrowers. As our loans are repaid, the capital is lent out again and again, helping more people and multiplying the impact over time.
HFLS is unique. There are no other organizations in New York City that provide an array of interest-free loans to low- and moderate-income people facing financial emergencies.
“If you lend money to My people, even to the poor among you , do not act toward them as a creditor; you shall not charge them interest.” – Exodus 22:24
“You shall not lend him your money at interest, or give him your food for profit.” – Leviticus 25:37