Alternative Financing Solutions
Alternative Financing Solutions is a service of Easterseals Nebraska that provides low-interest loans for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services. We have three separate loan funds:
- AFP – For any AT device or service requiring a loan between $2,000 - $35,000. Loans are serviced through First National Bank of Omaha.
- Telework - For an AT device or service necessary to secure a telework opportunity from home or overcome a barrier to employment requiring a loan between $1,000 - $35,000. Loans are serviced through First National Bank of Omaha.
- Mini-Loan - For any AT device or service requiring a loan between $100 - $1999. Loans are serviced directly at Easterseals Nebraska.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is any device that helps a person with a disability maintain or increase independence or overcome a barrier to employment. Examples include, but are not limited to vehicles with modification, ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, hearing and vision aids, scooters, lift chairs, stair glides, or iPads or computers with special software. "Non-traditional" technology or home repair items may be considered if they would help maintain or increase independence.
What is an assistive technology service?
Any service that helps a person to select an appropriate assistive technology device as well as any services required to help train those using the device.
Who is eligible?
Any Nebraskan with a disability, aged individual, or family member are eligible to apply for a loan. Our loan programs can help people of all ages and income levels.
How does the Nebraska Alternative Financing Program make decisions about my application?
You must have determined the item(s) you wish to finance and the loan amount needed before submitting an application. When we receive your application and supporting documents, we will review it to ensure that it is complete. Once complete, we will submit it to our Loan Review Board for a decision. The Loan Review Board is made up of individuals with disabilities and community stakeholders who oversee the loan programs and review loan applications. The decision to extend a loan is based on several factors including, but are not limited to, debt-to-income ratio and credit history.
Note: Our Alternative Financing Programs cannot not reimburse for items already purchased.
How long will it take to process my loan application?
Once a complete application is received, you can expect a decision on your loan application within a week. We will need to time to run your credit history and for our Loan Review Board to vote. Loan applicants meeting “excellent” borrower criteria set forth by our Loan Review Board may receive a fast track approval once we receive credit history information from the bank.
If approved, how will I get the loan closing documents and the money?
For any AFP or Telework loan approval, closing will take place in person at a First National Bank of Omaha location. For a Mini-Loan, closing will take place by mail. Once the closing paperwork is signed, you will receive a check made out to you and the vendor for the vendor to cash. If the item is computer or software related and the vendor you chose is online, the item may be purchased for you online and sent directly to your home.
How much can I borrow?
Depending on the program, our loan amounts range from $100 to $35,000. However, your ability to repay the loan will affect the amount you can borrow. Download the application packet below and complete the preparation worksheets to help you answer this question based on your situation. Or, give us a call and we can help you work through it!
What is the interest rate?
The rate changes from time to time, so you should ask for the current interest rate when you apply for a loan. The interest rate for all our loan programs is based on the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate. In July 2021, the borrower interest rate was 3.25%.
How much time will I have to pay off the loan?
Repayment terms vary based on expected useful life of the assistive technology device, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history. Term length is decided by the Loan Review Board at the time of application.
What happens if I have trouble repaying my loan?
Contact Easterseals Nebraska if you know you are going to have trouble making your monthly payment. We can try to help you work through your situation and may be able to help financially if it's a short-term problem.
What happens if I default (stop repaying my loan)?
If you don’t repay your loan, it will have a negative effect on your credit score. Your non-payment will be listed on your credit report for at least seven years and will make it difficult for you to qualify for other loans. In addition, your loan may be sent to a collection agency.
How do I get an application or more information?
Download the application packet below. It is a fillable form, but you will have to print and sign the document before submitting. Please do not submit the application until you have completed all the steps outlined on the first page, including determing how much you can afford in a monthly payment, identifying the specific item you want to purchase with a price quote, and exploring other funding resources. Contact our Loan Program Coordinator for assistance with any of these tasks! You can also contact Easterseals Nebraska at 402-462-3031 or 800-471-6425 Ext 5 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have paper copy of the application mailed to you.
For more information about other possible funding sources, contact Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) at 402-309-0374 / 877-713-4002 or click here to visit their website!.
Need to purchase an item, but not sure if you can do it with a loan? Have no credit history? Need basic money management assistance?