HFLS: General Needs Loan

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

General Needs Loan Overview

The General Needs Loan Program offers interest-free loans of up to $7,500 to residents with low and moderate incomes in New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester County, or Long Island. These loans can be used to pay for expenses that are beyond their means or to bridge an unexpected income loss.

Applicants for the loan must have an annual pre-tax household income that is at or below the income limit for their household size. You may still be eligible for an HFLS loan if your pre-tax household income exceeds the limit shown in the table below. Please contact [email protected] in order to speak with a Loan Officer regarding your situation; you may still be eligible for an HFLS loan.

Are you interested in more Free Money Grants and Government Grants for Individuals?

HFLS Income Limits

Household SizeHousehold Income
1 person94,140
2 persons109,825
3 persons123,510
4 persons137,195
5 persons148,235
6 persons159,160
7 persons170,200
8 persons181,125

Qualified applicants with loans of $5,000 or less are eligible to repay in monthly installments of $250 each over 20 months. For loans greater than $5,000, you can repay your loan in $300 monthly installments over 25 months.

All loans currently have a 3-month grace period before repayments start. However, any loans received after July 1, 2022 will be granted a 1-month grace period. Repayments are scheduled to be made on the 5th or the 20th of each month. Borrowers can choose their preferred date before HFLS releases the loan. All loan repayments can be made electronically by debiting a checking account.

Did you remember to check out the Rent, Mortgage and Utility Assistance – Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission?

Guarantor Information

Guarantor Overview

All General Needs Loans require one guarantor, and the guarantor is required to sign and complete a Guarantor form. A married couple is counted as one guarantor. If the guarantor is married, their spouse must also complete and sign the Guarantor form.

In the event that a borrower becomes insolvent for any reason, the guarantor and their spouse are liable for the loan.

Who may be a guarantor?

If a guarantor meets the criteria set, the following individuals may not be eligible for a loan:

  • You, your spouse, or your dependents
  • Persons with current outstanding HFLS loans, or who are guarantors on an existing HFLS Loan
  • People who cannot pay the loan back financially

Who may not be a guarantor?

If a guarantor meets the criteria set, the following individuals may not be eligible for a loan:

  • You, your spouse, or your dependents
  • Persons with current outstanding HFLS loans, or who are guarantors on an existing HFLS Loan
  • People who cannot pay the loan back financially

Loan Documents & Interview

What documents must an applicant submit to HFLS?

For a General Needs loan, the following information and documents are required.

From the borrower:

  • Online Loan Application submitted with information for the spouse or partner, if applicable. You can find the General Needs Loan online application here.
  • Copies of government-issued IDs with signatures are acceptable proof of address for the borrower and their spouse or partner, if applicable (e.g. driver’s license). If the driver’s license does not contain the borrower’s current residence, HFLS might require proof of residency (e.g. utility bill or account statement).
  • Bank document that contains the name of the borrower, checking account number, and routing number. This could be a voided check, a screenshot taken from your online banking portal, or another bank document.

From the guarantors:

  • Online Guarantor Form submitted by the guarantor with information of their spouse or partner, if applicable. After the applicant has submitted their application, the guarantor will be notified via email with a link to an online Guarantor Form.
  • Copies of government-issued IDs for the guarantors and their spouse or partner, if applicable (e.g. a driver’s license or U.S. passport). If the ID is not accepted as proof of residence, HFLS might ask for an alternative document.

What is the Loan Interview?

An HFLS Loan Officer will contact your to arrange a 15-minute interview via phone after receiving your online application and guarantor form.

During your loan interview, an HFLS Loan Officer will review your application and any other documents you have included. Then, they will decide if additional information is required, explain the loan closing process, and answer any questions you might have.

Please do not contact HFLS about the status of your loan request as there is a high volume of applications received by the organization. A Loan Officer will contact you directly as soon as possible.

Loan Decisions & Closing

How long does it take HFLS to review and decide on my loan application?

The HFLS reviews and makes decisions on loan applications daily. A Loan Officer may reach out to you via call or email if they have any questions about your application.

HFLS, in its discretion, may not approve a loan, make a loan for a lower amount than requested, or require additional guarantors or different guarantors.

If my loan is approved, what happens next?

Once your loan has been approved, you will be sent an email with the loan closing documents. You must complete these documents, and sign them electronically via DocuSign. This loan closing paperwork includes:

  • A Promissory note, to be signed by the borrower, guarantor, and spouses or partners (if applicable)
  • An Authorization of Automatic Payments (ACH) form, so that the loan funds can directly be transferred into your checking account. HFLS can also withdraw monthly loan repayments directly out of your checking account.

After HFLS has received the above electronically signed documents, your loan funds will be disbursed directly to your checking account within three business days. Please note that the loan funds may not appear in your checking account until a few days after disbursement.

Remember to also check out NEIGHBOR-TO-NEIGHBOR (N2N).

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