DC FUNDS is the federally funded Alternative Financing Program (AFP). It is a relatively simple option to borrow money at a very low-interest rate in order to purchase much needed assistive technology (AT) devices and services. Borrowing money through DC FUNDS allows freedom of choice, empowerment and independence.
Computer hardware/software, communication devices, scooters and power wheelchairs can be very costly items and are not always covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Many individuals are left struggling to pay for these necessities, or simply doing without.
There are very few grants available and while there are government entities set-up to provide AT devices and services, the path to procurement is often slow, stressful and not always successful.
This program presents an opportunity to independently obtain needed technology without cumbersome regulations and restraints.
The DC Assistive Technology Program will also provide supports to keep payments current and if necessary, credit counseling, to build credit or improve credit scores.
DC FUNDS loans are not made through a banking institution. The loans are reviewed and approved by a committee, in part consisting of individuals with disabilities and family members of people affected by disabilities.
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Persons with disabilities and seniors or their family members, guardians or advocates living in the District of Columbia can apply for this loan.
The interest rate is 4% which is well below the market rate of traditional banks. The length of the loan is based on the amount borrowed and the type of equipment needed. Terms can range from 6 months to 5 years.
You can borrow amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000.
Loans are commonly used to purchase big-ticket items, including hearing aids, stair lifts, Braille notetakers, home modifications, power wheelchairs, computers, tablets, and much more.