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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Financial Institutions, Judaism, Religion, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: We provide interest-free loans to Jewish individuals and families in Northern California for emergencies, personal financial challenges, tuition and education-related costs, first-time home purchases, debt consolidation, starting a new small business, adopting a child, and special medical needs. We also make loans to Jewish organizations and synagogues.

Results:  $8 million dollars out in loan circulation  over 1,000 borrowers.  Our repayment rate is over 99.5  To date we have helped over 100,000 people.

Target demographics: Jewish individuals & families

Geographic areas served: Northern California

Programs: Interest-free loans. Loan Program--types of loans include: Adoption Business Debt Consolidation Emergency Health Care Home Buyer Institutional Jewish Community Employees Life Cycle Personal Recently Unemployed Special Needs Student

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Leandro M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great guidance and support for my business goals! They helped me get the loan I needed to move my business to the next level

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cindy and the members of Hebrew Free Loan were fabulous. Asking for money can feel just awful and needing money can feel so embarrassing, but they made the process so comfortable. They were very professional, very straight forward and very empathetic. I cannot thank them enough.

heystish

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Hebrew Free Loan as a skilled volunteer, and joined the Marketing Commitee. I was quickly hooked - the scale of impact this one small organization has in the community is unbelievable. The staff truly is a family to their clients, and every time I hear about another person, family, or business helped by a Hebrew Free Loan I swell with pride. It is an under-utilized and under-known resource for the community!

Previous Stories
3

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is special. Every story I hear is one of incredible impact, helping people achieve their dreams, or survive when other avenues are impossible. Often when I tell people about it, they don't believe me because it sounds too good to be true. But it's real, and is extremely tied to the Bay Area Community.

Review from Guidestar

Tobi L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hebrew Free Loan has been a game changer for me. The financial support has allowed me to grow my business. Their friendliness and helpfulness has been unprecedented - in a world of competition and playing dirty, it's so amazing to find an organization like HFLA that truly cares about people and has tools that are effective. They've been a key player in helping me integrate back into my life after returning from Israel and building my business that is geared toward health and community. I thank HFLA and would refer any one who needs a little support to be their best.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know countless people who swear by HFL to help them get loans free of interest. They all have nothing but good things to say and I am an avid supporter of this non profit making a big impact by empowering the local community with the loans necessary to help move people forward in their lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am truly grateful for Hebrew Free Loan. Without Hebrew Free Loan, I would not have been able to return to graduate school part time, as a full time working mother living in Alameda.
This loan is helping me not get over my head with interest payments and unmanageable debt.
The process is also positive, and easy. My loan officer Beth was a joy to work with. She is kind, clear, professional and timely. We are fortunate to have Hebrew Free Loan!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great Company. Really identify with their vision and they have improved my life substantially.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For several years, my wife and I have worked to reign in our expenses and eliminate unnecessary luxuries (vacations, dinners out, babysitters, items for our home). But the cost of living in the Bay Area, combined with student debt, combined with two kids, combined with medical expenses and the usual unexpected costs of life, has made our goal of living debt-free feel more-and-more elusive. Like so many others, we were caught in a cycle of slowly mounting debt without resources or help to reverse the tide.

Even though I work within the Jewish community, it frankly never occurred to me to reach out to Hebrew Free Loan for help. I was embarrassed, a bit ashamed – I’m a professional who makes a decent salary and am not on the verge of living on the streets. Debt consolidation felt like I was inviting judgment for my past errors or excesses. But, after a casual conversation with a savvy colleague about my ongoing financial stresses and limitations, I decided that I needed to act.

And what a great first step it was. Not long after reaching out to Hebrew Free Loan I started to feel hope that I could create a new plan and approach to financial stability – one that I’d not tried before. Hebrew Free Loan rightly required me to assess my expenses with realistic eyes, to budget carefully, and to get organized. After meeting with their loan officer, having entered the room somewhat sheepishly, I left feeling like I’d made a genuinely smart decision.

Not only did Hebrew Free Loan help me become more organized and disciplined, but I felt like the act of asking and receiving help from the Jewish community actually connected me to meaningful Jewish tradition. It felt like an act of Jewish solidarity, and my loan officer explained that their work – and our relationship – was indeed rooted in Jewish codes.

And, to my surprise, during the process of seeking a loan, I discovered that my parents had in fact received a Hebrew Free Loan before I was born, just when they were struggling to get onto their feet and contemplate having a family. It seems that I organically, yet inadvertently, followed in their footsteps.

So, today, I am on the path to paying off my debt, making smart financial decisions / living within my means, and no longer feeling quite so enslaved by money stress. Yes, I’ve only started the process, and I’ll never be a wealthy man, but I know I’m on my way to more peace. That means everything to my family and me.

Thank you, Hebrew Free Loan!

-Ilan

Alex52

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely fantastic organization in every way, shape, and form!

I started a business, but did not have enough capital to expand as quickly as I needed. The interest free loan that I received from Hebrew Free Loan enabled me to hop several months (and possibly years) ahead in terms of scaling my business!

Aside from the loan itself, the people working within the organization are absolutely top-notch. Everyone who I spoke with was extremely friendly, and really took the time to understand my business and my goals.

There was a good amount of money involved in my loan, so I was slightly intimidated going into the process. However, I immediately realized that any fears I had were unfounded!

The representative that I worked with gave me several application options, and made sure that we chose the one most likely to get my loan approved. They also assured me that, if my application was to be declined the first time, they would work with me to re-apply until we were all satisfied. Amazing!

I felt that asking for a loan would be difficult - I could not have been more wrong. The organization was an ally and an advocate for me to get the funding I needed, which was absolutely incredible considering they were the ones that gave the loan!

To any Jewish citizens of Northern California, I would look no further than this first-class organization for a loan to start a business, personal venture, education, etc. As soon as I am able, I will be donating to this group, and will certainly spread the word wherever I can.

Thanks again, Hebrew Free Loan!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is a godsend. Not only was is the loan exactly what my video production company needs to get our production equipment for jobs, the people who work there and run it are so sweet and helpful. They treat me like a friend and an entrepreneur. They worked hard to help me get the capitol I needed. Thank you HFL!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an international student on a student visa ten years ago and I had no reasonable, viable options for funding/loans while finishing a Phd in Jewish studies. All U.S. dissertation grants in academic Jewish Studies funded U.S. citizens/residents exclusively (some made provisions for Eastern European students, which I was not). My only other option were bank loans with exorbitant interest rates. While the HFL did ask for additional paperwork & references because I was not a U.S. resident/citizen at the time, they were nonetheless the sole organization willing to assist me with much-needed funding while wrapping up my Jewish Studies PhD program. I am very grateful to HFL for the assistance they extended at a critical juncture.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hebrew Free Loan Association is helping me finance my two masters degrees (MBA, MPA) with an interest free loan. As an organization, it is efficient and friendly. I loved going to their office and meeting the staff. Such nice people with a great sense of purpose.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just entered grad school with the fear of incredibly high interest rates. Thankfully Hebrew Free Loan helped me save about $4000, which is a big chunk of dough!

Michael368

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the most incredible experience working with Hebrew Free Loan these past few months. Their staff is compassionate, organized, and so helpful. I highly recommend this organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hebrew Free Loan recently provided my company with a loan to help mitigate cash flow pressure brought on by recent growth. Furthermore, the financial support provided strengthens our foundation and will enable future growth in 2016.

1 Alex46

Client Served

Rating: 5

I personally received a business loan to start my dream. In addition to the loan, i received mentorship and continued support. I could not be more grateful to this organization. They embody the best, Kindness, Mentorship, and Care.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hebrew Free Loan made it possible for me to stay in business! In the early stages of business I needed funds that I couldn't get from a traditional bank. The HFLA loan process was straight forward and professional. In addition, everyone at Hebrew Free Loan was very supportive. I have ended up forming relationships there and my business is thriving!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HFLA serves its clients in a compassionate, efficient and non-judgmental way. It was essential to my maintaining calm during a difficult divorce. It was there for me when I was a student and again, now that my children are students. My family has come Full Circle with HFLA and I am now a donor and volunteer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hebrew Free Loan is an absolutely amazing organization. Without them, we never would have been able to afford the fertility bills . . . and we never would have been able to create the family that we now have! Their donors exhibit the highest forms of altruism, and their staff treats you like family. We could not have asked for a better experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love referring people to HFLA because I can do so without any reservations. Financial need can be such a vulnerable experience, whether it is for emergency needs, schooling, business or building yoru family. The people at HFLA are patient and caring and also very professional. I am the professional I am today because of the loans I was able to receive from HFLA. I feel the way I do about my success because I was able to pay back my loans and know I was helping the next person coming in the door. More than an institution, it really is the foundation of community.