The Able Up Iowa (formerly Iowa Able) loan program provides low interest loans to Iowa residents and / or their legal representatives in order to make home modifications or purchase assistive technology. Some loans are even forgivable.
The purpose of these loans is to help disabled individuals of all ages and seniors remain living at home or in the home of a family member or friend instead of having to move to a residential care home. Modifications include equipment such as stair-lifts, walk-in tubs, and wheelchair ramps.
This program does not provide direct financial grants. Rather, it should be thought of as an alternative to other higher interest bank loans. The major difference between the Able Up Iowa loan and a normal bank loan is the interest rate for an Able Up Iowa loan is well below the rate an applicant would be able to obtain on the open market. In addition, loans can be made to family members should the individual in need of assistance not be in a financial position to qualify for a loan.
To qualify for this program, applicants or their representatives must be legal residents of Iowa who are old enough to enter into a contract. Therefore, one should be at least 18 years of age. Applicants 18 to 54 years old must have a diagnosis, disability, or long-term condition. However, this is not a requirement for those 55 years of age and older.
While being employed is not necessarily required to receive the loan, the ability to pay back a loan must be demonstrated. The applicant’s income and past credit history are major consideration factors. If the applicant cannot qualify, it is possible to have a co-signer.
Owning a home is not necessary to participate in this program. Renters must simply have landlord approval for making modifications.
Low Interest Loans
Loans range from $500 to $25,000, but most are made for amounts less than $10,000. While it is possible to receive loans for higher amounts, the consideration process is more thorough. The loans can be used to make home modifications and repairs or to purchase assistive technology.
The definition of assistive technology is quite broad and nearly any device, machine, or material that helps the individual increase or maintain their independence or safety is included. For example: motorized wheelchairs or scooters, wheelchair ramps, vehicle modifications, slip resistant flooring, hearing aids, walk-in tubs, and other bathroom safety modifications are eligible projects under this program.
Forgivable loans are available for qualifying Iowa residents who are applying for loans for home modifications, vehicle modifications or assistive equipment only. After participating in the Financial Empowerment Program, borrowers can have part or all of the balance of their loan forgiven.
While not all borrowers are able to have their loan forgiven, they can have their interest rate lowered by participating in the Financial Empowerment Program.