AzLAT is an alternative financing program designed to assist individuals with disabilities (or others on their behalf) to borrow money at affordable rates for the purchase of assistive technology. Qualified applicants (persons who can demonstrate ability to repay the loan) may be approved to borrow money in amounts ranging from $500 to $20,000. Pre-loan support services, flexible repayment terms, below market interest rates, and no prepayment penalties are unique features of this consumer responsive program which are not often found through more traditional lenders:
- Assistance with completion of the loan application package
- Identification of other potential funding sources for assistive technology acquisition
- Guidance/recommendations for selection of assistive technology devices
- Assistance with identifying and locating vendors
- Guidance on resolving credit report errors
- Intervention options to avoid consumer default
Assistive Technology (AT) includes thousands of simple to complex devices and products that enable people with disabilities to be more productive and independent in major life activities such as communication, self-care, education, employment, mobility, and recreation. Assistive technology may be used at home, in the workplace, in the classroom, and in the community in ways that provide creative solutions to reduce barriers and increase personal capabilities. Examples of assistive technology include hearing aids, wheelchairs, Braille note takers, safety rails in the bathroom, specialized computer keyboards and lifts for vans.
Applicants (persons with disabilities or others on their behalf) must:
- Be current Arizona residents.
- Have the legal capacity and/or ability to enter into a contractual relationship for a loan.
- Demonstrate that the loan will be used to purchase assistive technology for a person with a disability.
- Demonstrate ability – through sufficient monthly income and credit worthiness – to repay the loans.
- Have an existing savings or checking account with a financial institution or be willing to open an account so that monthly loan payments can be automatically withdrawn in a direct debit from the account.
- If approved for a loan, the borrower agrees to establish an account at MariSol Federal Credit Union with a $25 membership deposit.
Additional information will be requested from the applicant. During the application review process, the Loan Review Committee will take into consideration the following factors:
- Income sources such as employment, SSDI, SSI, interest income, investments, disability policies, child support or alimony, etc.
- Debt to income ratio (The proportion of money owed out compared to the amount of monthly income.)
- Credit history
- Extenuating/mitigating circumstances related to above, especially pertaining to health or disability issues
- Employment if relevant
- Loan co-signers (as needed)
- Loan amount being requested
- Type of equipment requested for funding
AzLAT is currently able to make loans in amounts ranging from $500 to $20,000.
Loans from AzLAT can be used to pay for a wide range of assistive technology devices.
AzLAT uses the federal definition of assistive technology as its guide for lending purposes: “Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized that is used to increase or improve functional capacities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive technology services directly assist an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device” (such as training to use of the device or repairs to a device that one already owns.) If the item is to be used for the purpose of increasing the individual’s functional abilities or to improve independence and quality of life for a person with a disability (examples: to get or keep a job, education, independent living), then it will be considered as assistive technology. The only categorical exclusion at the present time is for motor vehicles (cars, trucks, vans etc.) However, modifications to vehicles such as lifts and hand controls are included. Home modifications can also be considered.
A multi-member Loan Review Committee makes loan decisions based on information gathered from the loan application form and credit report.
The AzLAT Loan Review Committee meets on a monthly basis. It is anticipated that the loan approval process may take 30 – 45 days from the time a complete application is received until a decision has been made. If the applicant identifies an urgent need, the review process may be expedited at the Program’s discretion. The AzLAT program staff can provide assistance to applicants who feel they need help completing the application form.
The monthly payment will be individually determined based on the amount of money borrowed, interest rate and length of repayment. Length of repayment can range from 12 – 60 months. There is no prepayment penalty for loans that are paid off early. In order to make a repayment more affordable for the borrower’s monthly budget, a longer repayment schedule may be arranged. Re-payment terms are also based on the expected useful life of the assistive technology device.
Currently, the interest rate is based on the prime lending rate in effect on the date of the loan closing. These rates are subject to change, so you will need to ask for the current rate. However, the rate in effect at the time your loan is approved is fixed for the duration of the loan.
Loan documents (Membership Application, Authorization Agreements for Direct Payments, Agreement and Consent to Electronic Delivery of Information) will be provided to the borrower(s) by our lending institution at the time of the loan closing. You should review the loan terms carefully before signing the documents. Generally, a check for the amount of the loan made payable to the vendor will be given to the borrower following the signing of the loan documents.
It is possible that funding for your assistive technology device may be available through other sources such as state agencies, private insurance companies, school districts or other private organizations. AzLAT does not want consumers to take out loans unnecessarily and we will work with you to explore other funding options.
Loans are approved or denied based on the financial criteria described above. If your application is not approved, you will receive a written explanation of the decision. Reapplications will be considered based on a change of information submitted to us. Examples: the borrower now has more income; the borrower now has a co-signer with a good credit rating; the borrower has cleared up inaccurate information on the credit report; the borrower has paid off or reduced previous debt. If desired we can help you pursue other options for obtaining the technology if available.
AzLAT loans are for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services for work, recreation, education and independent living. SEED Loan$ (Self Employment for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities) was specifically created to reduce barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities by providing affordable loans for the purchase of assistive technology, computers and other business related equipment (that would not be considered assistive technology). This program assists Arizonans with disabilities to start or expand home-based self employment or perform work done at home as an independent contractor or employee. Applicants may be required to provide a feasible business plan or other documents verifying telework or self-employment. Call our office for more information.
300 W. Clarendon Ave, Ste. 475
Phoenix, AZ 85013