Personal Loans

Personal Loans – Application Forms Here

Q: What is a personal loan?

A: It is an interest-free loan for needy Jewish residents throughout Ontario (excluding Ottawa – please contact their Jewish Free Loan)particularly for those with limited financial resources and difficulty borrowing from other sources such as banks, credit cards, family and friends. This type of loan can be used for any number of purposes, including medical and dental expenses, rent owed, debts, moving expenses, home and car repairs, furniture, computers, appliances, trips to Israel and sending children to Jewish schools or camps. The loan can also be used to help with the costs of Jewish life cycle events such as a bris or a baby naming, a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, a wedding or a funeral.

Q: What is the maximum amount that can be borrowed for a personal loan?

A: The current maximum for a personal loan is $7,500. A person may apply for a lesser amount, as needed.

Q: How do I apply?

  1. Visit the JFLT offices and complete an application form. Or, go to the download page here. JFLT staff will be pleased to answer any questions about the application form. Or you can call (416-635-1217), visit the office (4600 Bathurst Street, just north of Sheppard Avenue) or email the office at info@jewishfreeloan.ca
  2. Some loans of less than $1,000 do not require any guarantors. Loans of up to $2,500 require one guarantor. Loans of up to $7,500 require two guarantors. Please have your guarantors complete the guarantor forms, which are included in the application package linked above.  Criteria for guarantors are listed below.
  3. Return all documents to JFLT offices with original signatures. Once JFLT receives all completed documents, your loan interview will be arranged.
  4. Come in for a personal interview. Each applicant meets with one or two members of the loan committee and goes over basic personal and financial information that will help the committee make their decision.

Q: When and where do the loan committee meetings take place?

A: The loan committee usually meets every two weeks on Tuesday nights in the Lipa Green Centre for Jewish Community Services on Sherman Campus, 4600 Bathurst Street.

Q: How do the members of the loan committee make their decisions?

A: The decision to grant a loan is made by a loan committee made up of volunteers from the Jewish community.

Q: I need a loan urgently. Do I need to wait until the next loan committee meeting?

A: In rare situations, JFLT can get a member of the volunteer loan committee to meet with you. However, all loan decisions are made by JFLT committee at its regular meetings and this interview may not speed up the process. Check with the office to determine if your case may be eligible for such special consideration.

Q: I will be providing JFLT with a lot of personal and confidential information. Is it going to be protected?

A: Yes. All information provided to the agency is kept in strict confidence, and is discussed only among the members of the loan committee. No other person or organization has access to the information.

Q: If I am approved, how soon can I get the money?

A: We encourage applicants to call us the day after their interviews to get their loan results. If you are approved, your guarantors should then call us to confirm their participation in your loan. Once we have spoken to all parties and we are satisfied that everyone understands their financial obligations, your loan cheque is available to you. If your interview took place on a Tuesday evening, it is possible that you could get your loan funds by the end of the week.

Q: What is the repayment schedule for personal loans?

A: Personal loans of $1,000 or less are repaid at the rate of $50 per month. Loans of $5,000 or less are repaid at the rate of $125 per month. Loans of more than $5,000 are repaid at $150 per month.

Q. How do I make my monthly loan payments?

A. JFLT will take your monthly loan payment directly from your bank account by Direct Electronic Funds Transfer (DEFT). When you pick up your loan cheque, you must provide us with a VOID cheque and sign a DEFT agreement form. Payments will be deducted from your bank account on either the 1st or 15th of each month until your loan is paid in full.

Q: Can I lower or increase my monthly payments?

A: Yes. In certain cases, if the borrower is facing difficult financial circumstances, JFLT may accept a lower monthly payment. This situation must be discussed with our office. Borrowers are free to increase the payments if they wish to pay back the loan faster.

Q: It’s going to be difficult for me to get guarantors. Do I need them?

A: Yes. In most cases JFLT requires two guarantors who are jointly responsible to repay the loan if you do not make the required payments. The JFLT bylaws do not allow granting of loans with no guarantors. Please discuss your particular situation with our office.

Q: What are the criteria for a successful guarantor?

A: Criteria for guarantors include:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have the financial means and capability of repaying the loan and preferably own real estate
  • Cannot be currently a JFLT borrower, clergy or JFLT board member, executive member or his/her spouse
  • Applicants and their guarantors cannot all be employed by the same person or company
  • If a married or common-law couple act as guarantors, both spouses must sign all documents
  • Guarantors must be permanent residents or citizens of Canada, and must have be residents of Ontario for at least one year
  • Guarantors must be fully employed by the same company for at least one year or have significant assets
  • A person cannot be a guarantor for more than one loan at a time, unless they are in a very strong financial position and the loan they are currently guaranteeing is being repaid on time
  • A guarantor cannot live with borrower, with the exception of parents (see below)

Q: Can my parents be guarantors?

A: Yes, as long as they are financially able to repay the loan.

Q: What happens if my application is rejected by the loan committee?

A: You can write a letter of appeal providing additional information in support of the loan. The loan committee will review the application and will make a final decision to either approve or deny your loan application. There is no appeal process after this second discussion by the loan committee.

Q: What happens if I cannot keep up with the monthly payments?

A: Do not miss a loan payment. Call the office to discuss your special circumstances. If your payment is returned by your bank as Unpaid, the office will contact you. If the amount owed cannot be collected, we will contact your guarantors and recover the funds from them. If necessary, JFLT will proceed to Small Claims Court.

Q: Can I apply for a second personal loan before paying back the old one?

A: Yes. However, you will have to go through the entire application process again, and your total amount outstanding cannot exceed the current loan limit of $7,500. You may apply for an educational or business loan which is considered separate.

Q: I had another JFLT loan a number of years ago. Can I apply for a new one?

A: Yes. You will have to go through the application process again.

Q: Can I apply for a personal, business and student loan at the same time?

A: No. You have to decide which type of loan is most useful for you and apply for that one only. You may have multiple types of loans active at the same time however, as long as your total amount outstanding does not exceed our maximum amount.

Q: Is there a penalty if I pay off the loan earlier than the due date?

A: No.

Q: Can two members of the same family apply independently for separate personal loans?

A: No. The maximum personal loan for a family unit living together is $7,500.

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