Interest Free Loans for Israel's "working poor"
Israel Free Loan Association provides interest-free loans to working Israelis facing financial hardship. A donation (or accumulation of donations by several donors) of at least $10,000 enables the establishment of a named loan fund, from which loans are provided to borrowers, repaid to the fund, and loaned out again in a cyclical manner, thus growing the loan fund's "helping value." IFLA manages hundred of named loan funds, and the more loan funds established, the more loans we are able to provide to working Israelis in need. Currently, thanks to a generous challenge grant, donations to IFLA in the amount of $25,000 or more will be matched by 50%, thus increasing the impact of the donation.
What is the mission and purpose of this program?
The mission and purpose of this program is to provide financial "breathing room" to working Israelis facing financial hardship or small businesses struggling to survive or expand while providing a sense of dignity throughout the process.
Personal loans are in the amount of up to 30,000, while loans to small business owners are up to 90,000. Securities for these loans include the signing of guarantors. Loan repayment plans reflect the borrower's monthly income and family size, in order to make the repayment plan realistic and possible. As such, borrowers repay their loans at a rate of 99.8%, (default rate of 0.20%) enabling the recycling of these monies to be loaned out to others again and again over time.
With 20% of Israel's workforce living below the poverty line, many Israelis earn a paycheck yet are unable to cover many basic expenses. This includes large and single parent families. To establish or expand a small business, or to stabilize cash flow, an infusion of funds in required. That's where IFLA comes in to help. IFLA also provides loans to college students, as well as those in professional training courses, with these loans embodying the value of helping people help themselves, as they acquire a profession. Another category is families with a member with disabilities living at home. For them, interest free loans help cover expenses of drugs, equipment, or procedures not fully covered by the healthcare system.
IFLA loans have assisted students to become self-sufficient professionals, families to absorb the costs of necessary medical treatments, family life cycle events, establish small businesses, and more. The more loans we are able to provide, the more people will be assisted with dignity intact.
How do you measure the success of your program?
To measure success, we continue to keep track of the loans we provide and the repayment of loans, so that we can re-use the monies to help additional people, and the way these loans have an impact on the borrowers. With such information, we are able to continue to adjust our program in accordance with the continually changing needs on the ground.