Frequently Asked Questions

Borrower Requirements

Do you have to be Jewish to get a loan?

No. The Jewish Free Loan Association is a nonprofit and non-sectarian agency, providing interest-free loans to people of all faiths.

 

Do you have to live in Los Angeles to get a loan?

Borrowers must be permanent residents of Los Angeles or Ventura counties. 

If you live outside the Southern California area, find a Free Loan near you or find a United Way office  near you.

What does permanent resident mean?

To qualify as a permanent resident, borrowers must show proof of residence in the area of at least 6 months and must have a valid California ID or driver’s license. .

What if I live outside the Southern California area?

If you live outside the Southern California area, find a free loan near you or United Way office near you.

Am I required to have good credit to secure a loan?

Typically, we do not check the borrower’s credit for emergency loans. We rely primarily on the co-signer’s credit and income to determine the viability of the loan. Each loan application is handled on a case by case basis, so this information is meant only as a general guideline. Please note: We do check the borrower’s credit on all business loans.

Am I allowed to apply for two different types of loans at one time?

Jewish Free Loan Association can only offer one loan to one borrower at a time. We cannot provide two loans from different funds simultaneously.

Can my spouse apply for a loan too?
Married couples are considered one borrower and therefore cannot each apply for a loan. Couples must show proof of legal separation to be considered as two separate borrowers.

Guarantor Requirements

Why do I need a guarantor?

Guarantors are required to guarantee the loan and they enable Jewish Free Loan Association to retain its 99.5% repayment rate and to help others in need in the future. We do not accept any other forms of collateral and there are no exceptions.

Do I need one or two guarantor to get a loan?

Loans up to $5,000 require one or two guarantors. Loans over $5,000 require two. Check individual loasn for specific guidelines.

What are the guarantor requirements?

Guarantors must:

  • Have good credit
  • Have steady income
  • Be 25 years of age or older
  • Be permanent residents of California
  • Have no current activity with the Jewish Free Loan Association as borrower or co-signor.
  • Not on active military duty.
  • Be willing and able to repay the loan if the co-signer is unable to repay successfully.
Does my guarantors have to come with me to my appointment?

Guarantors are not required to come with the borrower to his/her appointment. The appropriate paperwork can be brought to the guarantor following the appointment.

Can married guarantors each sign as a separate guarantor?

Married couples are considered one guarantor, therefore they cannot each be counted as a guarantor. Couples must show proof of legal separation to be considered as two separate guarantors.

Can my wife/husband guarantee me?
Married couples are considered one borrower, therefore a spouse cannot guarantee a loan.
Can my guarantors sign on two different loans?

As a general rule, we do not allow guarantors to sign on two different loan applications. However, there are exceptions to this rule, i.e. if parents with good credit and steady income want to co-sign on Jewish Free Loan student loans for two of their children. Please email info@jfla.org if you need further clarification.

Loan/Application Process

What does “free” mean?

Free means interest-free.

If you receive a loan from the Jewish Free Loan Association, you pay back exactly the amount you received. There are no fees or extra charges.

How do I apply for a loan?

Applying for a loan is simple. Loan applicants must have a clear and verifiable need for the loan and must secure one or two co-signers depending on the amount of the loan.

Please review the entire FAQ section prior to proceeding with the loan process as it provides very useful information.

Then go to the how to apply section to learn more about the application process.

How long does it take to receive the loan?

Once we receive all the required loan documentation (including filled out guarantor forms, copies of your guarantors’ drivers licenses and any additional required proof), it takes about a week to ten days for processing. The Jewish Free Loan Association Loan Committee meets once a week to review loan applications. All loan requests are subject to approval; loans are not pre-approved or guaranteed.

 

Loan Amounts

What is the maximum loan amount you offer?

Loan amounts vary greatly depending on the specific need and loan program. The maximum amount we offer for emergency loans (rent, car repair, medical or dental expenses, etc) is $5,000. For information about other loan amounts, please email info@jfla.org.

What is the minimum loan amount you offer?
Jewish Free Loan Association does not have a minimum loan amount.

Types of Loans

What do you give loans for?

The Jewish Free Loan Association offers interest-free loans for emergencies, healthcare, small business, education, life cycle events, children with special needs, women fleeing domestic violence among other things.

View a complete list of all the Jewish Free Loan Association loan programs.

 

What don’t you give loans for?

The Jewish Free Loan Association cannot assist with debt consolidation, court or other legal fees, back taxes, parking and traffic tickets or travel expenses.

The exception for a travel loan is the Israel Experience Loan program fund which has it’s own particular set of requirements.   

Appointment Information

Do you accept walk in applicants?

For security reasons, we cannot accept walk in loan applicants. You must call the L.A. office or the Valley office in advance to schedule an appointment with a Jewish Free Loan Ananlyst. If you come to our offices without an appointment, we will be unable to see you at that time.

Is it necessary to have an in-person interview to receive a loan?

Yes. We know that an in-person interview gives the client an opportunity to express his/her financial concerns and needs while allowing the Jewish Free Loan Association loan analyst to fully explain the process and requirements. All information is confidential and all borrowers are treated with dignity and respect.

What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
  • California drivers license or California ID
  • Social security card
  • Proof of your current income (recent tax forms are acceptable if you do freelance work)
  • Proof of rent
  • If applicable, any additional proof of why you need the loan (medical or dental bill, car repair estimate, proof of student enrollment, etc.)
How long is the appointment?

If appointments are running on schedule, they typically run about 20-25 minutes. Due to strict building security and possible delays, please allow at least an hour for the entire appointment. If you have an appointment, plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to park and go through security.

Loan Repayment

How are the loans repaid?

Loan payments for all loan programs are monthly. Payment amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis during the borrower’s interview with a Jewish Free Loan Association loan analyst. Payments begin approximately 30-45 days after the loan is approved and the check is issued.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept money orders, cashiers checks, personal checks, cash (in person only) or auto-deduct from your checking account. *We do not accept credit card payments.*

Can I renew my loan before it’s paid off?

No. Please email info@jfla.org for more information on the student loan process and if you qualify to renew a student loan.

Once my loan is repaid, can I get another loan?

If you have paid your loan in a very timely manner and your last loan payment has cleared, you are eligible to reapply after a one month grace period. You must demonstrate need for another loan.

How can I sign up for automatic deduction on my checking account?

To sign up for automatic deduction for loan repayments, click here to download the form and return it with a voided blank check to the Jewish Free Loan Association by fax to: (323)761-8841 or email to info@jfla.org. You may also mail it to:

Info at Jewish Free Loan Association 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 715, Los Angeles, CA 90048. 

Please make sure to choose whether you want the deduction on the 5th or the 20th. Unfortunately we cannot accept payments from a savings account.

To update the bank account the Jewish Free Loan Association already has on file, please send a new voided blank check to the Jewish Free Loan Association by fax to: (323)761-8841 attn: Info@ Jewish Free Loan or email info@jfla.org. 

Please allow 7 days before your deduction date for processing. We cannot guarantee your account will be updated if not received before that time. Please note, we will not update your account until your new bank account information is received. Please write your the Jewish Free Loan Association loan number on the check to ensure proper data entry.

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