Interview about Financial Loan Program

MugAn interview about NDAD's Financial Loan Program with Leslie Stastny, NDAD chief program officer:

Q. For what type of assistive technology has the program probably been used for most?

By far accessible vehicles. People have really taken advantage of our low interest rates in order to purchase a vehicle with a ramp or a lift or hand controls or whatever it might be that makes it accessible for their disability.

Q. How else has it been used?

We’ve had individuals use it for home remodeling to make their homes accessible. It could be something like a hearing aid. A lift chair. Scooter. We’ve done a laptop. It would be nice to get the word out that it can be used for these other things as well. . . . Of course, it would need to have something to do with their disability and be an assistive device for them, not just, “My laptop broke down and I need another one at a good price.”

Q. What’s perhaps the most overlooked advantage of NDAD’s Financial Loan Program?

I think people expect that we’ll have a decent interest rate, and we do. But we can also extend it out over a longer period of time to make it more affordable for an individual. And you don’t have to have perfect credit in order to qualify. Now, that being said, you do have to be able to show the ability to repay the loan. There has to be some income available. If an individual perhaps has a poor credit history due to medical expenses, we can take that into consideration. If it’s a poor credit history because someone just didn’t pay their student loans or their credit card bills for other purposes, we’re still going to look at that as poor credit when looking at an application. But we do like to give people a chance.

Q. One program provision allows purchase of used assistive technology equipment. How does that work?

We can approve used equipment in certain circumstances. We’d want a professional to look at it and tell us that it’s worth purchasing. We also need to look at the length of time of the loan on something that’s used. Obviously, if it’s already several years old the life expectancy may not be much longer. We may still be able to consider the loan – just not for an extended payback period.

Q. How much time is there to repay the loan?

It depends on what they’re purchasing. We’re probably going to give a vehicle a much longer period of time than a hearing aid or a scooter. Each one could be different. There’s some flexibility.

Q. Does it take long to apply? How much time does it take to get a decision?

It doesn’t take long. I don’t think the application is cumbersome at all. It can be accessed through our website, NDAD.org, or by calling any of our offices, so we can mail it out if that’s more convenient. We have toll-free numbers and we’ll get one out in the mail the same day.
 

Download NDAD's Financial Loan Program brochure (.PDF).

Obtain a question-and-answer information sheet and application form (.PDF) for NDAD's Financial Loan Program.

(NOTE: NDAD application forms and some other materials are provided online in a .PDF software format. Download Adobe Acrobat's .PDF reader if you don't have one.)

Contact your nearest NDAD office or call (800) 532-NDAD for more information.




 

Dean Knutson
Dean Knutson performs volunteer respite care visits in East Grand Forks, Minn., on behalf of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. The Grand Forks resident likes the fit, for several reasons. “I’ve been told I can talk,” he said, smiling. He says he’s a good listener, too – a key component of respite service. Knutson ...
view all success stories