Hebrew Free Loan Fund
The Hebrew Free Loan Fund (HFLS) is a program of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. It provides interest-free loans up to a maximum of $4,000 to be repaid over 3 years or less. Loans are approved at the sole discretion of the Hebrew Free Loan Society committee, and all loan repayments commence within 60 days after receipt of the loan.
HFLS provides loans to two types of borrowers:
1) General financial needs including, but not limited to:
• Short-term emergency needs (one-time rent, mortgage, or utilities assistance, etc.)
• Basic needs (car repair or purchase, childcare, medical or dental, etc.)
• Opportunity loans (one-time expenses associated with training to improve financial situation; or equipment or other one-time purchase to expand a small business)
• Special Needs expenses loans (one-time expenses related to special needs such as medical equipment, hearing aids, glasses, wheelchairs, etc.)
College and university students from Florida are eligible for “last dollars in” student loans through the Jewish Education Loan Fund - visit www.jelf.org to learn more.
Need-based scholarships for college and university students are available through the Jewish Federation, and may be used in addition to or instead of a Hebrew Free Loan, depending on the applicant’s need – call (561)-478-0700 for more information.
2) Jewish life needs including, but not limited to:
• Life cycle events (brit milah, b’nai mitzvah, wedding, funeral, etc.)
• Synagogue membership
• Religious school, Jewish day school, or Jewish preschool tuition
• Summer camp and Israel experiences
HOW TO APPLY:
In order to access a Hebrew Free Loan, you must follow these steps:
STEP 1: Confirm that you meet all eligibility guidelines:
• You live in the Federation Service Areas: Palm Beach County, Florida, from Boynton Beach north through Martin County.
• You have legal U.S. residency status;
• You are at least 18 years of age;
• You are a Jewish individual or family;
• You or your spouse or partner are currently employed and/or self-supporting;
• You can realistically repay the loan;
• You have explored other funding sources, including extended family, bank, credit union, etc;
• You understand what supporting documentation you will be required to submit (step 3, below);
• If you are applying for a General Needs loan, you have secured one or more qualified co-signers (see below for eligibility requirements); and
• The loan is for a maximum of $4,000 to be repaid over 3 years or less.
Applicants for a General Needs loan will require at least one co-signer. Co-signers must meet the following eligibility requirements:
• A Florida resident OR able to access a notary;
• 21 years of age;
• Have good credit and steady income;
• May not be a full-time student or on active military duty; and
• May not be a current borrowers or co-signers on an existing loan until such current loan is repaid in full.
STEP 2: After reading these instructions in full, select the appropriate application form (General Needs or Jewish Life) and complete the application.
STEP 3: Be sure to include all additional supporting documentation with your application form. The following will be required for your application to be considered complete:
• Copy of applicant’s social security card;
• Copy of applicant’s driver’s license;
• Copy of applicant’s previous year’s income tax return;
• Copy of applicant’s two recent pay stubs or other documents to verify income (i.e. social security check, etc); and
• If you are applying for a General Needs loan: Co-signer Verification form(s) (see step 4), along with co-signer’s previous year’s income tax return and two recent pay stubs or other documents to verify income (i.e. social security check, etc).
For loans pertaining to vehicle purchases the following additional documentation is required:
• Copy of contract between buyer and seller;
•Year, Make, and I.D. # of vehicle; and
• A copy of the dealer or private seller’s submission for an Application for Title listing the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, 4601 Community Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida 33417 as the First Lienholder.
STEP 4: If you have applied for a General Needs loan, you must secure a co-signer. Your co-signer must print, complete, and submit the Co-Signer Verification Form by mail or email.
STEP 5: You may be asked for an interview with a member of the Hebrew Free Loan Society to discuss your application.
STEP 6: The Hebrew Free Loan Society approves or disapproves the loan. If approved, the applicant and co-signer(s) will make an appointment to sign the loan agreement and receive the check. Monthly repayments as outlined in the loan agreement will commence within 60 days of the Loan being received by the applicant.
Please note that the entire application process takes at least three weeks.
Please contact the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County at (561) 242-6654 or email Melissa.Arden@JewishPalmBeach.org if you have any questions.