Borrower FAQs

Do I have to be Jewish to apply for a loan?

Yes, you must be Jewish to apply for a loan through our program

Do I have to be a resident of metropolitan St. Louis or surrounding areas to apply for a loan?
You must be a resident in the area for at least 12 months. College students and/or other individuals who have permanent residencies elsewhere are not eligible for a loan and they should apply to a Jewish free loan program in their home state. -For more information: Click Here
How do you define metropolitan St. Louis or surrounding areas?

In order to be eligible for a loan through our program, you must live in one of the following counties:

  • Missouri: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson, Franklin, Clinton, Lincoln, Jersey, St. Charles.
  • Illinois: Monroe, St. Clair, Madison, Calhoun, Macoupin, Bond, Warren, and Sullivan (only part of Crawford County included).
How much does it cost to apply for General Needs Loan?
There is no fee to apply for a loan
Do I have to be a US citizen or US resident to apply for a loan?

No, this is only a requirement for the Guarantor.

What is the maximum amount that I can borrow?
The maximum loan amount is $5,000
How much interest is charged for a General Needs Loan?
General Needs loans are interest free
It looks like I can apply for a loan for many different reasons, is there anything that I can’t apply for?
The purpose of the loan is to alleviate a temporary hardship, so it is not intended to be used for “frivolous” reasons, such as a leisure trip
How long do I have to pay this loan back?
The loan must be fully repaid within 36 months
Do I have to repay my loan by completing an ACH form?

No, it is our preference for you to complete the ACH payment form. Please contact loan staff to discuss alternative payment options.

Do I have to participate in an interview to get my loan approved?
Yes. It will most likely be a Zoom interview of 15-20 minutes.
Who else will be part of the interview process?
Members of the Loan Committee will serve on a Loan Review Team, in groups of 2-3 people, plus loan staff
If I am married or have a domestic partner, can they serve as a Guarantor for my loan?
No, they cannot serve as a Guarantor for your loan.
Who else cannot serve as Guarantor of my loan?

Pulpit Clergy and other family members in your immediate household are also excluded.

Does a Guarantor have to live in the area?
No, they can live anywhere in the United States, but they must live in U.S. permanently.
Who should I ask to serve as a Guarantor?
Ask people who are close to you to serve as a Guarantor – close friends or family etc. It helps to ask someone who has known you for a long time and knows your character.
Does my Guarantor have to be Jewish?
No, this is not a requirement to serve as a Guarantor.
Why does STLJLA require Guarantors?
STLJLA requires Guarantors on our loans to ensure that we can continue to help people in the St. Louis Jewish community! Guarantors serve as our form of back-up if a borrower defaults on a loan. When you borrow money from STLJLA, you only pay back what you borrow. We do not charge interest; therefore, we do not generate any money from the loans that we grant. Repayment ensures that STLJLA can continue servicing the community in the future!
Does a Guarantor have to disclose their financial information to the Borrower?
No. The Guarantor will complete a separate application through the online portal.
Is my Guarantor kept informed regarding the loan that he/she guaranteed?

If a Borrower is late on payments or has stopped making payments, Guarantors will be notified by phone, email, or mail. Once a loan is paid in full, Guarantors will receive written documentation that the loan has been repaid.

Does STLJLA require credit reports for either Borrower or Guarantor?
Yes. STLJLA will ask for permission to pull credit reports for both the Borrower and Guarantor.
Does STLJLA require good credit reports for either Borrower or Guarantor?
STLJLA will expect a good credit score for someone to serve as a Guarantor; however, the Loan Committee will focus their decision making more on the Borrower’s ability to repay the loan, rather than his/her credit score.
When will I know if my loan is approved?
You will know within one week after your interview if your loan is approved and you will then sign a promissory note for the loan.
Who else must sign my promissory note?

Your qualified Guarantor must sign the promissory note. St. Louis Jewish Loan Association must approve all Guarantors.

If I am currently paying back a STLJLA loan, can I apply for another one?

No. You must pay back your loan off in full to apply for another loan.

If I defaulted on a previous STLJLA loan, can I apply for another one?
No. You may not apply for another loan, nor may you serve as a Guarantor for someone else’s STLJLA loan, if your loan has not been repaid in full.