In an effort to help the neediest in our community, the board of Jewish Free Loan Toronto (JFLT) last week voted to allot an additional $25,000 to a program which allows individuals to take out $1000 loans without guarantors.
Jewish Free Loan Toronto is sponsored by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and United Way Toronto and York Region.
“Our guaranteed loans have been around for the last 90 years” said Terry Borer, President of JFLT. “We decided to implement this new program in order to remove barriers and to accommodate those who, through no fault of their own, cannot obtain co-signers. So far, we have given out 40 loans of this type. We hope to add another 50 to the portfolio in the coming year.”
Most of the people who apply for this no- guarantor loan earn less than $1,800 a month. Some are newcomers to the city; others emotionally or physically-challenged. Typically, the loans are used for rent, bill payment, winter clothing, dental emergencies and transitional housing.
“We recently had an interesting case where this small personal loan really made a difference in many people’s lives, said Marra Messinger, Executive Director of JFLT. “ Sarah, a single mother of 11 came in and wanted a loan for a computer. She had just moved to Toronto and did not know anyone who could act as a co-signer. Because of the new program, JFLT was able to give her enough money to buy a computer for her children. This has really improved her family’s quality of life”
Richard Cummings, Executive Director of Jewish Family and Child Service, lauded the program stating that it encouraged financial responsibility and economic independence among some of the most marginalized in the Community. “I am pleased to see that JFLT is taking a risk and giving back to the community in such a significant way,” he added.
Jewish Free Loan Toronto’s mandate has always been to offer a hand-up rather than a hand-out. It currently has 636 loans outstanding totaling $2,320,741.
If you know of anyone who needs a $1000 loan or of anyone who would like to donate to this program please contact Marra Messinger, Executive Director: Jewish Free Loan Toronto 416 635 1217 ext. 5269 firstname.lastname@example.org