HFLA's Fight Against Payday Loans

One of HFLA of Northeast Ohio’s goals is to fight unfair payday loans in the state of Ohio. We are extremely passionate about this mission as we often work with clients who have fallen into the vicious cycle of payday loan debt.

On March 20, 2017, our Executive Director Michal Marcus appeared on NPR to discuss payday loan legislation reform and talk about HFLA’s work with payday loans.

The following is adapted from that conversation. To hear the discussion for yourself, click here.

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Information on Payday Loan Reform Legislation

The Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform Coalition reached out to HFLA after Michal's interview on NPR, and provided us with the following information for anyone who may be interested in House Bill 123 and the current reform efforts:

Dear Supporters of Payday Loan Reforms:

The payday lending reform bill, Ohio House Bill 123, has been assigned to the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Louis “Bill’’ Blessing III, R-District 29, who represents part of Hamilton County.

We are asking you to reach out to committee members from Cuyahoga County, the chairman of the committee and committee members who have announced they are going to run for statewide office in upcoming elections. Please tell the committee members that you support reform and why. If they are running for statewide office, please mention that in your communication.

Also, if you live in one of these legislators’ districts, would you please let us know? If you do, we can let you know when they are holding in-district public meetings which you might be able to attend to bring up payday lending reform.


Cuyahoga County committee members:

Rep. Dave Greenspan, District 16; western Cuyahoga County, including Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park, North Olmsted


Committee Chair

Chairman Rep. Louis “Bill’’ Blessing III, District 29; Hamilton County/Southwest Ohio


Other committee members:

Vice Chair Rep. Bill Reineke, District 88; Sandusky and Seneca counties


Rep. Timothy E. Ginter, District 5; Columbiana County


Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent, District 25; part of Franklin County, including Whitehall, Gahanna, Bexley and part of Columbus


Rep. Ryan Smith, District 93; Lawrence, Gallia, Jackson and part of Vinton counties


Rep. Bill Seitz, District 30; parts of Hamilton County


Key news media coverage of reform efforts


Michal Marcus on NPR

Yesterday, our Executive Director Michal Marcus was on NPR's Sound of Ideas to discuss payday lending. She was on a panel with State Representative Kyle Koehler and Keith Davis, a Financial Capabilities Counselor with Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. They discussed payday lending and its implications on borrowers, as well as a new bill proposed to close a loophole in current legislation that allows payday lenders to get around 2008's legislation, which capped interest rates at 28%. Through this loophole, payday lenders have continued to lend with interest rates sometimes reaching as high at 700% APR. Listen to the podcast here to learn more!

Michal Marcus, Executive Director of HFLA of Northeast Ohio, on-air with NPR

Join us in the fight against payday loans in Northeast Ohio. Click here to see what your dollars can do.

Build, Improve, or Monitor Your Credit for FREE with NerdWallet!

Exciting news: HFLA partnered with NerdWallet to bring their credit tracking tools to our borrowers, applicants, and friends. This is an online platform that allows you to create an account and view your credit report whenever you choose!

NerdWallet's credit tracking platform allowsNW_Logo_Hor_RGB_Screen-450x100 you to set goals pertaining to your credit (ex: increase my score), and will then give you tips on how to reach that goal. It also shows you how much your credit score would be affected by different decisions regarding your personal credit (opening a new credit card, paying off a balance in full, etc...) so that you know exactly how your credit score will be impacted.

You can create an account with NerdWallet through this link: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/hflaclev/

Party 112 Pictures

Interest Free Loans for Lorain County Residents

Underbanked and underserved in Lorain County have a new option for financial help. HFLA of Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit organization, has been lending interest free since 1904 to the people of Northeast Ohio without access to conventional funds and with the ability to repay.

With the generous support of the Community Foundation Lorain County a pilot program has been started with HFLA of Northeast Ohio. “We are happy to provide this grant to HFLA, no one is doing anything like this in Lorain County. Our residents need access to funds other than predatory lenders when it comes to everyday emergencies as well as pursuing their education or starting a business.” Brian Frederick, CEO and President Community Foundation of Lorain County.

These funds are accessible to help people with needs such as car repair, home repair, escaping predatory lending situations, workforce development, education, starting businesses and more. HFLA will be partnering and receiving referrals via Lorain County nonprofits such as, Oberlin Community Services, Urban League and El Centro.

Interest free loans allow people to help themselves with dignity. These interest free loans can often mean the difference between someone keeping the gas on, or being able to get to work when they repair their car, they can prevent a downward spiral towards bankruptcy because of predatory lenders.

For more information, visit our website, www.interestfree.org or call us at 216-378-9042.

For information on becoming a donor, click here to visit our donor platform.

HFLA to launch credit-building program and expand loan services with support of $42,500 Cleveland Foundation grant

The Cleveland Foundation awarded a $42,500 grant to the HFLA of Northeast Ohio to launch a credit-building program and expand HFLA’s interest-free lending program for Northeast Ohioans.

Founded in 1904, HFLA supports Northeast Ohioans with a genuine need and the ability to repay, but no access to conventional funding. HFLA recently decided to expand its wraparound services for borrowers by adding a credit-building component and training HFLA staff in financial coaching.

“The Cleveland Foundation is proud that our grant to HFLA will help underserved community residents establish and build credit, which is key to an individual’s ability to access conventional funding in the future,” said Kathleen Hallissey, Director of Community Responsive Grantmaking for the Cleveland Foundation.

The Cleveland Foundation grant will also help HFLA meet the growing demand for loans to help clients escape from predatory loans, advance careers through education and secure vehicles for transportation to jobs. In recent years, HFLA’s pace of lending has more than doubled.

Over the past 112 years, HFLA has provided over 26,000 interest free loans in response to the diverse needs of capable and able people without access to capital. HFLA has a 97% rate of repayment by loan recipients, which is better than that of most banks.

While the local economy has improved, there are still individuals who need support from the Hebrew Free Loan Association. Though the name of the organization reflects its Jewish heritage and ideals, loans are made to individuals on a non-sectarian basis.

For additional information visit our website, www.interestfree.org or call 216-378-9042.

For information on donating to HFLA, click here to visit our donor platform.

Interest Free Loans for NEO Entrepreneurs

Thanks to a generous grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation HFLA is able to expand its business loan program with interest free loans up to $10,000 to new and current entrepreneurs with financial need and lack of access to conventional funds. Some of HFLA’s first loans in 1904 were to immigrants arriving in Ohio and establishing a business to support their families, today is no different than 112 years ago, and we are thrilled to be able to continue our support of local entrepreneurs through interest free lending.

“Burton D. Morgan Foundation values the direct support HFLA provides to aspiring entrepreneurs through interest-free loans, as a first step to helping young businesses become eligible for traditional loans. HFLA is fulfilling a vital role in the Northeast Ohio funding community and the Foundation will be anxious to hear the stories of businesses assisted through our grant funding.”

Interest free loans allow people to help themselves with dignity. For a newly started business or an existing business sometimes just receiving a small interest free loan is often what is needed to get them to the next level.

For more information, and required documents visit our website, www.interestfree.org or call us at 216-378-9042.

For information on donating to HFLA, click here to visit our donor platform where giving is easier and more compelling than ever.


Click here to purchase Party112 tickets!

Save the DateHFLA is already gearing up for our annual gala, Party 112, and we ask that you save the date: NOVEMBER 12, 2016! It will be another fun-filled evening with a delicious plated meal (kosher upon request), open bar, musical entertainment, and this year we will debut our exclusively "foodie" silent auction--which will feature culinary adventures and experiences at many of Cleveland's hottest restaurants. 

Chef Doug Katz of fire food & drink and G. Kim Jenkins of Rising Star Coffee Roasters have even taken to the streets to get the owners of local restaurants, bakeries, delis, and grocery stores to support HFLA through donations for the Foodie Auction. Earlier this month they worked with HFLA to draft a letter asking their colleagues to show support for our organization, which does so much work to better the Northeast Ohio community that we all love. You can view the letter below, as well as our Foodie Auction donation request form and sponsorship form. If you have any questions about donating to Party 112's Foodie Auction, sponsoring a table, or about attending and having a fabulous evening, please contact Katy at katy@hflaclev.org or 216-378-9042.

We look forward to seeing you at Party 112!

Jenkins Katz letter
Letter from Doug Katz and G. Kim Jenkins
Foodie Donation Request Revised
Foodie Auction Donation Form
Party 112 Sponsorship Levels 2016 JPEG
Party 112 Sponsorship Opportunities!