IAF Announces New Loan Product for Refugees
IAF Canada’s board of directors have approved a new program: a micro loan specifically for refugees in Canada. Refugees can apply for a loan at no interest cost to them, with the interest funded through donations from the community.
The new loan will be based on IAF’s current micro loan product and will offer up to $10,000 for licensing and/or training in their field. Refugees and protected persons from anywhere in the world are eligible as long as they apply within three years from the time they have attained refugee status in Canada to the date of their loan application at IAF. RBC has generously provided funding for outreach efforts to target both government assisted and privately sponsored Syrian refugees.
“Resettling refugees has historically been a part of Canada’s humanitarian tradition,” said Laura Wood, Chair, IAF Board of Directors. “While our primary focus continues to be on enabling as many immigrants as possible find work in their field, we felt that offering this new service together with our partners is the most appropriate way to support Canada’s achievement of providing a safe haven from thousands fleeing conflict or persecution. In addition to financial support, this will send a strong message to refugees that their new community is standing behind them. We need to come together to support their success in Canada.”
Loan recipients will be required to make minimum payments which will be applied against principal. As with standard IAF loans, borrowers will be registered with Equifax to begin building their credit history in Canada. While minor adjustments will be made to risk assessment framework when considering applications to refugee loans, IAF expects the new stream of refugee loans to perform as well as their standard loans, which have had payback rates of 97% since the program’s inception.
The IAF board of directors and staff are excited to offer this new product that will remove financial barriers to accessing the needed licensing/training refugees require to work in their field in Canada. To contribute to this program or for more information, contact Dianne Fehr, Executive Director at 403-228-9981 ext. 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.