Step 1: Determine whether you are eligible for an HFLS loan.

To qualify for an HFLS loan, you must live in NYC’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island; have low to moderate annual household income; and locate one or two qualified guarantors, depending on the loan program. Some loan programs have additional requirements; each loan program page describes the specific requirements for that loan. HFLS is a non-sectarian lender; you do not have to be Jewish to receive an interest-free loan from HFLS.

Your household income must be at or below the amount listed below for your household size. The amounts below are the moderate-income limits for households in the NYC area, based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s guidelines.

To determine whether you qualify for an HFLS loan, locate your household size in the chart below. If your pre-tax annual household income is at or below the amount listed for your household size, you are eligible to apply for an HFLS loan. If your annual household income exceeds this amount and you have significant need of an interest-free loan, please contact HFLS at (212) 687-0188 or info@HFLS.org to discuss whether you qualify for a loan based on your specific situation.

HFLS income guidelines. Contact loan@hfls.org for more info on how to apply for a loan.

Guarantors must:

  • Currently reside in NY, NJ, or CT.
  • Have household income at or above the amount required for the loan program you’re applying for (noted on each loan program page)
  • Have good credit, in that they are meeting their current debt obligations according to their credit report.
  • Be able to repay the loan, as determined based on their household income and credit report.

A married couple is considered one household, and spouses are co-guarantors for the loan. Guarantor spouses must sign the promissory note. (An applicant’s spouse may NOT serve as a guarantor, as they are a co-applicant.)

Step 2: Find the HFLS loan that’s right for you.

HFLS offers interest-free loans to meet emergency, health, education, business, and other needs.
Review the types of loans we offer and select the one that meets your needs. Each loan program page describes the application requirements for that loan, and you can apply online by clicking the link in the “Apply Now” section at the bottom of each loan program webpage.

Step 3: Complete the online loan application and remind your guarantor(s) to complete the online guarantor form(s).

Each online application includes a section for you to enter the name(s) and email address(es) of your proposed guarantor(s). Upon submitting your application, your guarantors will receive an automated email from HFLS explaining that you listed them as a proposed guarantor in your HFLS loan application and asking them to click a link to complete an online guarantor form. All applications are secure; the information entered is encrypted and transmitted directly into HFLS’s loan management system. 

Please note that HFLS only makes one loan per household. This means that, if you are married or partnered, your spouse or partner is considered your co-applicant. The same is true for married or partnered guarantors; their spouse is considered the co-guarantor. The application and guarantor forms require contact, employment, income, and other information for spouses/partners, and spouses must sign the promissory note upon closing your loan.

Step 4: An HFLS Loan Officer will contact you to schedule a loan interview and ensure all required documents are submitted to HFLS.

Within approximately one week of receiving your completed application and guarantor forms, an HFLS Loan Officer will contact you to schedule a 15-minute loan interview by phone or video (Zoom). The Loan Officer will review your application and ask any follow-up questions, ensure all submitted documents are clear and readable, and answer any questions you have. They will also explain the loan repayment terms, the loan closing process, and your obligations as a borrower should your loan be approved.

Step 5: HFLS will make a loan decision.

You will hear from a Loan Officer within approximately one week after your interview if we require additional information to process your loan. Once all information is received, you will receive email notification of approval (with loan closing paperwork) or denial.

If your loan is approved, you will receive a DocuSign email to electronically sign your loan closing documents. The loan closing documents include:

1) a Promissory Note, to be signed by you, your spouse (if you’re married), and your guarantors (and their spouses, if they’re married); and

2) an authorization for automatic payments form, signed by you (and your spouse, if you’re married).

Once HFLS receives the signed documents, we will electronically transfer your loan funds directly into your checking account within three business days.

Repayments will begin approximately one month after your loan is approved.

Repayments are made monthly on either the 5th or the 20th of each month (your preference). Your promissory note and ACH form will include your first repayment date. Your repayments will be automatically withdrawn from your checking account via ACH each month until it is fully repaid.

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