MassMATCH is pleased to announce the opening of the AT Mini Loan program. Now individuals with disabilities and their families have a new way to afford assistive technology (AT) they want and need.
AT Mini Loans finance amounts ranging from $100 to $2,000 at zero interest. They are especially helpful for, but not limited to, people who need to build or repair their credit.
“This is a game-changer,” emphasizes Leo Tonevski, Director of the AT Department at Easterseals Massachusetts. “People who have been unable to access credit to finance AT, now have a supportive way to do so.”
Easterseals is administering the program as a direct lender, “which means Easterseals is ‘the bank,'” continues Tonevski. “And since we understand the lives of individuals with disabilities–including those on a fixed income–anyone with a need for assistive technology should talk with us and apply.”
Easterseals partners with MassMATCH to administer the Alternative Finance Program for purchasing AT. For this new offering, the Southeast Center for Independent Living (SCIL) is additionally providing outreach to underserved communities in Fall River and New Bedford along with free financial literacy trainings.
“A credit-building option is a great complement to our Budget Your Bucks training series,” says Jessica Stone, SCIL’s Grant Writer/Community Liaison. “Participants with various disabilities are learning how to budget their money, save for unexpected expenses or needs and the importance of credit to achieve their goals. The AT Mini Loan is another affordable way to help achieve them.”
AT Mini Loan applicants can be adults with disabilities, including seniors, or their family members. Kobena Bonney, MassMATCH Program Coordinator, anticipates the program may serve young adults especially well. “Transition-age students, those ages 18-22, often have no credit history and need computers and specialized software or other AT for school or work opportunities. We are pleased to create this solution to assist applicants in acquiring much-needed AT.”
MassMATCH received a grant from the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) to launch the AT Mini Loan program. This is an expansion of the Alternative Finance Program Easterseals Massachusetts has administered for more than a dozen years. The traditional AT Loan is still available for applicants who need more expensive equipment and services, such as adapted vans and hearing aids through a banking partner.
Learn more about the AT Mini Loan at this Alternative Finance Program web page.
Learn more about upcoming Budget Your Bucks trainings in Fall River and New Bedford.