Anyone who has a financial need and is Jewish living in the greater DC metro area is eligible for a traditional loan. You do NOT need to be affiliated with a synagogue, be observant, or connected to the Jewish community in any way. We are here to help all Jewish residents in the greater Washington area whatever their background, connection to the community, or beliefs.
The Paul & Annetta Himmelfarb Foundation Jewish Communal Employee Loans are available to anyone working for a Jewish non-profit regardless of their religious affiliation.
What types of loans do you do?
We help with a huge variety of financial needs including credit card or other debt consolidation, emergencies (medical or otherwise), education, fertility or adoption. This list is not exclusive, please let us know your needs and we will let you know if we can help!
How long does it take to get the loan? And what is the process?
The loan process can take a few days to a few weeks. The first step is ensuring that the loan application is complete. We consider a loan application complete once the borrower and guarantor(s) have submitted all their paperwork. Once the loan application is complete, HFL staff review the loan and a member of the Board of Directors conducts a phone interview with the applicant.
After that interview, the board member makes a recommendation to the HFL Executive Committee on whether to approve the loan. After the Executive Committee approves the loan, paperwork is be sent electronically to the borrow and guarantors. Once all the paperwork is signed, the funds will be released.
Are there fees? Is there really no interest?
There are NO fees when you take out a loan and all repayments go towards your principle. (If you miss loan payments or pay late, we do have the right to charge a late fee.) And there is NO interest charged – that has been our mission for over 110 years.
What about my credit score?
We do not look at your credit score and it will not impact whether we approve you as a borrower. We also do not report our loans to credit agencies, so our loan will not impact your credit score.
Do you do Quick Payout loans?
No, we do not. We do not require collateral for our loans nor do we expect them to be paid back immediately.
I am considering a loan, should I come meet with someone in person?
No. We do not have an office open to the public. Please feel free to call us at 301.859.0346 and we are happy to discuss over the phone or via Zoom.
Why does HFL need a guarantor?
A guarantor serves as the person supporting your loan should you not be able to repay for some reason. Since we do not charge interest or fees, and because the charitable dollars that we lend are intended to be recycled into new loans after existing loans have been repaid, we do need to ensure that our loans are repaid. Guarantors provide that assurance for us.
How many guarantors do I need?
For a loan up to $10,000, typically one guarantor is required. For a loan over $10,000, we require two.
Can my spouse be my guarantor? Can my parents?
Your spouse cannot serve as your guarantor. They are legally obligated as the borrower on the loan and will be expected to sign your loan documents as your spouse. Your parents, assuming they meet our guarantor requirements, can serve as a guarantor.
Are there other guarantor eligiblity requirements?
At least one guarantor must be Jewish. For loans that require two, the second guarantor does not need to be Jewish. All guarantors must have net income of at least $70,0000 and cannot be the spouse of the borrower or a borrower themselves. An individual can only guarantor one loan at a time. In addition, on loans that require two guarantors, both guarantors cannot be married to each other. It is preferable to have at least one local guarantor but this is not a requirement.
What does being a guarantor entail?
A guarantor serves as a financial backer for a loan. In the unfortunate circumstance where the borrower stops paying their monthly loan payments, the guarantor will be called to make those payments or potentially be required to pay back the entire loan. Staff or board members always reach out to the borrower first to remind them to repay prior to reaching out to the guarantor.
How much money do I owe each month?
Depending on the size of the loan, the repayments vary. Repayment amounts for traditional loans:
Loans of $5,000: $200/month for 25 months
Loans of $7,500: $250/month for 30 months
Loans of $10,000: $280/month for 36 months
Loans of $15,000: $420/month for 36 months
Loan of $20,000: $500/month for 40 months
Loans of $25,000: $595/month for 42 months
Repayment amounts for loans to students:
Loans of $5,000: $25/month for 25 months, $175/month thereafter
Loans of $10,000: $50/month for 25 months, $245/month thereafter
Loans of $15,000: $50/month for 25 months, $400/month thereafter
Where do I send my money?
You can mail a check (addressed to Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington) to P.O. Box 2752, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You can also send transfer payments via PopMoney or Zelle to email@example.com. Please be sure to include your loan number.
Will you send payment reminders?
No, we do not send monthly reminders. We recommend that you set up payments to send automatically through bill pay or otherwise so you don’t need to remember each month.
Can I drop money at your office?
Unfortunately, no. We only have a mailing address. We are not set up currently to be able to accept money in person.
Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington