General Loan Guidelines

PATF offers two loan programs:

  • For assistive devices costing more than $1,500, PATF offers a 3.75% low-interest loan. If a borrower has good credit, then their loan may be approved as a traditional loan for up to $60,000. If an applicant is not approved for a traditional loan, PATF’s Board of Directors will review the loan to determine whether or not to guarantee the loan. If a guarantee is required the maximum amount that can be borrowed is $25,000.
  • For assistive devices costing between $100 and $1,500, PATF offers a 0% interest Mini-Loan, with a minimum monthly payment of $20. The maximum repayment period is three years.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • PATF is a program for Pennsylvania residents who need assistive technology devices and/or services.
  • PATF can help people of all ages, disabilities and health conditions.
  • People of all income levels may apply for a loan. An applicant must have an ability and willingness to repay a loan.

Loan Amounts

All PATF loan applications require a vendor quote that specifies the cost of the assistive technology that will be purchased with the loan. PATF can extend loans in amounts lower than the cost of the assistive technology, but cannot extend a loan in an amount greater than the cost of the assistive technology.

Allowable Equipment

PATF will extend loans to purchase a broad range of assistive technology. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Wheelchairs and scooters
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Telecommunications devices
  • Hearing aids
  • Computers and adaptive peripherals
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Aids for daily living
  • Vehicles that have been adapted or require adaptations
  • Home modifications for accessibility

Loan Repayment Terms

The length of the loan term is based on the expected useful life of the assistive technology device to be purchased.

Examples of repayment terms for various type of loan are as follows:

  • Computers and adaptive peripherals – 2 years
  • Stand-alone reading and magnification devices – 5 years
  • Hearing aids – 3 years
  • Wheelchairs or scooters – 5 years
  • Home modifications – 10 years
  • New vehicles that require adaptations – 7 years
  • Pre-owned vehicles that require adaptations – 6 years

Note: Pre-owned vehicles will be considered if the vehicle is no more than five years old and has less than 50,000 miles.

If PATF has not established a loan period for a specific type of assistive technology device, staff will consult with knowledgeable individuals to determine the expected useful life of that type of assistive technology.

Note: Additional consideration for purchasing a vehicle: If modifications are required to a vehicle, the applicant must be the vehicle owner or a family member. If a third-party payer will be providing the modification, the applicant must provide documentation that it is approved (i.e., a letter from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation).

Family members may own a modified vehicle that is being purchased to transport a family member who has a disability. The driver must provide proof of insurance and a copy of his/her valid PA driver’s license.

Loan Restrictions

PATF extends loans only for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services. Therefore, PATF will not process loan applications to pay off existing loans, to pay for an item that the applicant already possesses, to rent an item or to purchase a home. PATF will provide loans for home modification to rental units only with the written approval of the rental property owner. Home modification loans that are more than $10,000 are treated as a home equity loan, with a lien placed on the property.

Guidelines for Reviewing Access to The Guarantee

PATF does not discriminate because of race, color, sex, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age. All borrowers are treated fairly and according to the same standards.

The loan applicant can be the person with the disability, an older Pennsylvanian, or someone who is applying on behalf of the person with the disability, including a family member or acquaintance.

While PATF’s criteria for approving access to the guarantee are more flexible than the loan criteria of most banks, the Board requires a reasonable expectation that the borrower will repay the loan.

The three most important criteria that are considered for a PATF loan are…

  • Credit history
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Capacity to repay

When the applicant has a history of credit problems, the application must be able to demonstrate that he/she has a workable plan to deal with those problems. A pattern of adverse credit actions that cannot be adequately explained and has not been adequately dealt with will result in a decision not to guarantee a loan.

Standards and Criteria for the Loan Program

The following chart outlines the standards that the Foundation follows in administering the PATF loan program. These standards may be reviewed and revised from time to time in order to comply with state and federal requirements.

Standard Acceptable Criteria for the Programs

Type of Residence

Borrower owns or rents his/her residence, and payments to the mortgage company or landlord have been made on-time for the previous 12-months.

Proof of Residence

An applicant must provide two form of identification to be used to demonstrate residence within Pennsylvania:

  • Photocopy of driver’s license
  • Photocopy of voters registration cart
  • Utility bill
  • Non-drivers identification

Proof of Income

An applicant will be required to provide proof of income. Acceptable documentation can include copies of IRS income tax return, a recent pay-stuff, W-2 form, or an SSI or SSDI award letter.

Gross Income

There is no specific income eligibility requirement for a guaranteed loan. Primary consideration will be the ability and commitment to repay the loan.

Credit History

The Board will carefully consider credit reports and may decline loan guarantees for applicants with poor credit. Credit history priorities are:No unfavorable credit history.Good credit within the past year. Previous credit issues have been worked out with creditors and/or debts have been reduced. Prior bankruptcies, defaults, delayed payments, or other credit problems may be considered on a case-by-case basis. If an applicant has undergone a bankruptcy, he/she must be discharged from that bankruptcy for 12 months. Additionally, an applicant must not have filed for bankruptcy in the previous 12 months. Written documentation of how these problems have been resolved may be requested.

Poor credit history. Bankruptcy may be excused, especially if related to the individual’s disability, provided the applicant has taken appropriate steps to resolve the credit problems (e.g., negotiated repayment schedules with current creditors, reduced debt and living expenses). Written documentation showing actions taken to resolve the problems will be required. Poor credit history is generally unacceptable if not related to the applicant’s disability.

An applicant who lacks acceptable credit may apply/re-apply with a qualified co-applicant or apply for a loan at a later time should his/her credit history improve.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

The board will generally consider a maximum of 50% debt-to-income ratio if the borrower can adequately document sufficient cash flow to make loan payments.An applicant’s monthly loan payment for the new loan will be included in the debt-to-income ratio.An applicant with a higher debt-to-income ratio who has a compelling reason or an extenuating circumstance may be given an opportunity to explain how they are going to address this requirement.

FICO Score

The Board will generally consider a FICO score of 0 (no credit history) or 500 and higher.

Credit Reports

PATF will conduct its own credit checks on all applicants who require the low-interest guarantee or mini-loan.

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