What credit score do I need to have to be approved for a loan?

Credit is just one factor in our loan qualification process. We do not have a specific score that we are looking for—rather, our staff looks at our applicants’ credit to verify their debt obligations and to see what their repayment history has been in the past. Generally, we look to see that our applicants make an effort to pay their credit obligations on time. If we have concerns or questions about things on your credit report, we will contact you for more information.

What is the minimum income level to qualify for a loan with HFLA? Is there a maximum income level?

HFLA of Northeast Ohio looks at each application as a unique application. Every person/family has different income, and also has different expenses. Our programmatic staff must be able to verify your income and to see that you have the ability to pay your regular monthly expenses in addition to a loan payment to us. If you have concerns about your income eligibility, please call the office at 216-378-9042 or email us at team@interestfree.org.

What does it mean when you say that your loans are for people who "cannot access traditional financing"? How do I know if I do or do not qualify?

When we say that HFLA of Northeast Ohio’s loans are designed for people who are unable to access traditional financing, we mean that a person may have been denied a loan through their bank or credit union. If you are unsure contact our program staff to see if you qualify. If we receive an application that looks like a person may be eligible for traditional financing, we may require you to apply with your financial institution first. Our funds are limited and must be used for those who truly cannot access other means of financing.

What counties comprise Northeast Ohio?

HFLA serves the counties of:

  1. Ashland
  2. Ashtabula
  3. Columbiana
  4. Cuyahoga
  5. Erie
  6. Geauga
  7. Huron
  8. Lake
  9. Lorain
  10. Mahoning
  11. Medina
  12. Portage
  13. Richland
  14. Stark
  15. Summit
  16. Trumbull
  17. Tuscarawas
  18. Wayne

If HFLA stands for Hebrew Free Loan Association, do I need to be Jewish to apply for a loan?

You do NOT need to be Jewish to apply for a loan with HFLA of Northeast Ohio. We are proudly rooted in the Jewish tradition that one should not charge interest when helping someone in need, and we extend our loans to anyone in Northeast Ohio who meets our lending criteria. Our loans are designed to help individuals who cannot access traditional financing.