General Needs Loan Overview

The General Needs Loan Program provides interest-free loans of up to $7,500 to low- and moderate-income residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island to help fund significant expenses that borrowers cannot meet with their own resources or to help bridge a period of unexpected income loss.

Loan applicants must have annual pre-tax household income at or below the income limits for their household size.

Loans of $5,000 or less are repayable in installments of $250 per month (maximum repayment term of 20 months). Loans of more than $5,000 are repayable in installments of $300 per month (maximum repayment term of 25 months).

General Needs Loans have a grace period of three months before repayments begin. Repayments will be made on either the 5th or the 20th of each month; you will select your preference before HFLS disburses your loan. All loan repayments are made by electronic debit of a checking account.

Guarantor Information

One guarantor is required for all General Needs Loans, and the guarantor must complete and sign a Guarantor Form. A married couple is considered one guarantor; if a guarantor is married, his or her spouse must also complete and sign the Guarantor Form.  

The guarantor and their spouse are liable for the loan in the event you are unable to pay for any reason.

Guarantors must meet the following criteria:

  • US citizens or permanent residents currently living in NYC’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island
  • Have a checking account, good credit, and total family income of at least $30,000 a year
  • Currently employed (HFLS prefers persons who have worked at least one year in their present position)

Even if they meet the requirements above, the following people may not guarantee a loan:

  • Persons living in the same household as the borrower
  • Persons who currently have an HFLS loan or are a guarantor on an HFLS loan
  • Pulpit Clergy (clergy are often asked to guarantee due to their high visibility within their community; this rule, therefore, exists for their own protection)
  • Persons who are unable to repay the loan

Loan Documents & Interview

The documents below are required for a General Needs Loan. Once you have completed or collected all the documents below and have all necessary signatures, contact the HFLS office at to schedule a loan interview, which will be conducted via phone or video (Zoom) call. Please submit the following documents to HFLS prior to your interview, either uploaded with your online application or emailed to

From the borrower:

  • Loan Application, completed and signed by the applicant (and their spouse, if they are married). You may apply online or download a PDF Application Form at the bottom of this page.
  • Copies of government-issued photo IDs that include signatures and serve as proof of address for the applicant and their spouse (e.g. driver’s license). If the driver’s license does not include the applicant’s current address, HFLS will require proof of residency (e.g. a utility bill or account statement).
  • Voided check, checking account statement, or bank document that includes the applicant’s name, the bank name, the checking account number, and the routing number.

From the guarantors (guarantors may choose to send these documents directly to HFLS):

  • Guarantor Form, completed by the guarantor and including information for their spouse, if they are married. Guarantors will receive an email with a link to the guarantor form after you submit your loan application online. If your guarantor needs a hard copy application, please email to request one.)
  • Copies of government-issued photo IDs that include signatures for the guarantor and their spouse, if they are married (e.g. driver’s license or U.S. passport).

Failure to submit these documents will delay the processing of your application. 

Once you have collected all the documents above, please email to schedule your 10-15 minute loan interview with an HFLS Loan Officer, which will be conducted by phone or video call (Zoom). Loan interviews must be scheduled in advance and can take place Mondays through Thursdays between 9 am and 5 pm.

Please submit the documents listed above to HFLS prior to the loan interview to avoid delays in processing your application. During the interview, an HFLS Loan Officer will review your application and other required documents with you, ask any relevant questions, determine whether any additional information is needed, and answer any questions you have about HFLS and the rest of the loan application process (described below).

Loan Decisions & Closing

HFLS reviews and decides on loan applications weekly. If we have questions about your application or guarantor, you may receive a call or email from a Loan Officer asking for further information before HFLS will make its decision.

You will receive information via email within approximately one week of your loan interview informing you of the loan decision. HFLS, in its discretion, may decline to make a loan, make a loan in an amount less than that requested, or require different or additional guarantors.

If your loan is approved, you will receive an email that contains instructions to complete and sign the final loan paperwork through DocuSign. The final loan paperwork includes:

  • A Promissory Note, to be signed by the borrower, guarantor, and all spouses
  • An Authorization of Automatic Payments (ACH) form, so monthly loan payments can be withdrawn automatically from your checking account.

Once HFLS receives the signed documents above, we will disburse your loan funds directly into your checking account within one week. (Please note that it may take a few days after the disbursement for the loan funds to appear in your checking account.)

Apply Now

Apply for a General Needs Loan Here

If you prefer to print a hard copy application, please email to request a PDF.