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FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the Alternative Finance Program?

Who is eligible?

How much can I borrow?

What is the interest rate?

What can I purchase with the loan?

What do I do if I am not sure of the type of assistive technology I need or where I can get it?

What is assistive technology?

How long does the loan process take?

If approved, how will I get the loan documents and money?

How much will my monthly payments be and how much time do I have to pay off the loan?

What happens if my loan application is denied?

What if my credit record is poor, I do not have a job, or I receive funds from many sources?

What happens if I have trouble repaying my loan?

How do I get an application?

What do I do if I need help to complete the application?

Is taking a loan out my only choice or are there other funding sources available to me?

What if I have additional questions?

 

 

What is the Alternative Finance Program?

  • The Alternative Finance Program is a program for individuals with disabilities and their families.  It allows qualified applicants to borrow money at low interest or extended terms for the purchase of assistive technology, adaptive equipment and related services.

 

Who is eligible?

  • Any Alabama resident who has a disability or has a family member with a disability; and whose independence or quality of life would be improved by the acquisition of the assistive technology, adaptive equipment, or service.

 

How much can I borrow?

  • Loan amounts up to $35,000.

 

What is the interest rate?

  • Our current interest rates range is 6% - 4% and remains fixed for the duration of the loan.

 

What can I purchase with the loan?

  • There are limits and/or restrictions on the type of AT that can be purchased.  The loan can be used to purchase assistive devices such as Wheelchairs, Scooters, Braille Equipment, Voice Simulation Systems, Scanners, Assistive Listening Devices, Telecommunications devices for the deaf, Augmentative Communication Systems, Environmental Control Units, Computers & Adaptive peripherals, Building Modifications for accessibility, Vehicle Modifications, etc.  (Other A.T. must be approved by AFP coordinator and/or board.)

 

What do I do if I am not sure of the type of assistive technology I need or where I can get it?

  • In most situations it is best to contact us after a proper evaluation has been done through a professional agency.  If you are not sure of such organizations in your area or would like to find out where to locate the necessary professional service or assistive technology, you may contact the STAR office at 1.800.STAR.656.  Our trained professionals have catalogs and/or contact numbers available for most assistive technology devices/services throughout the State of Alabama.  

 

What is Assistive Technology?

  • Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities and independence of individuals with disabilities.

 

How long does the loan process take?

  • Up to 30 days. 

 

If approved, how will I get the loan documents and the money?

  • If you are approved for a loan you must meet in person with the Alternative Finance Program Coordinator either in Montgomery, Alabama or at an agreed upon location within the state. The loan Coordinator will go through all of the loan documents with you, have you sign the loan documents, and notarize the documents. The loan Coordinator will be responsible for getting the loan documents returned to the bank ASAP. The loan check will be made payable directly to the vendor (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

 

How much will my monthly payments be and how much time do I have to pay off the loan?

  • Your monthly payment amount will vary depending on the amount of money you borrow and the interest rate at the time of the loan.
  • Re-payment terms are based on the expected useful life of the assistive technology device. For example, loans for most computers and related devices must be repaid in three years, while loans for home modifications may be re-paid in a maximum of ten years. For most other types of assistive technology, a four to five year repayment schedule is expected.

 

 

What happens if my loan application is denied?

  • 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 at a later date. (Examples of a change of information includes: 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.)

 

What if my credit record is poor, I do not have a job, or I receive funds from many sources?

  • Working in conjunction with our financial partner, the Alternative Finance Program (AFP) is able to approve more loans than traditional loan programs because of our guidelines.  We look at more than just an individual’s credit record; such as their ability to repay at their current status.  You do not have to have a job at the time of the loan but you do have to have a reliable source of income to repay the loan you are requesting (ex. SSI, SSDI, etc.).    
  • We also work with individuals whom may have received funds from another agency or a faith-based organization and need additional monies to complete their purchase.  

 

What happens if I have trouble repaying my loan?

  • The AFP wants to help you maintain good credit while you repay your loan. If you have unexpected financial difficulties because of a sudden illness or job loss, please call the Alternative Finance Coordinator.  The coordinator can refer you to consumer credit counseling services within the State of Alabama. In this program, you can learn how to keep track of your mounting bills and how to create a workable budget.

 

How do I get an application?

  • Contact the Alternative Finance Coordinator at 1-800-STAR-656 and one will be mailed to you or download (click here) the appropriate paperwork on our website. 

 

What do I do if I need help to complete the application?

 

Is taking a loan out my only choice or are there other funding sources available to me?

  • 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. The Alternative Finance Program (AFP) does not want consumers to take out loans unnecessarily and we will work with you to explore other funding options.

 

What if I have additional questions?

 

  • If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-STAR-656.  

 

  • Application Assistance
      • Guidance and assistance is provided throughout the application
        Process by the Alternative Financing Program Coordinator:

Kate Wallace
(334) 293-7008 (office)
(334) 293-7399 (fax)
1-800-STAR-656 (in state only)
(TTY) 1-800-499-1816
kate.wallace@rehab.alabama.gov

 

 

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