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Get a SAFE Loan

CENTER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY (CEO) 

IRC’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) is a non-profit lender specializing in making small-dollar loans to refugees and immigrants. CEO is certified by the U.S. Treasury as a national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and currently has operations in 14 states. CEO currently offers small loans tailored to meet the practical needs of working families and new Americans including loans to build credit, buy a car, pay for training, start a business and other use cases that support overall economic empowerment. CEO does not accept loan applications from clients directly; instead, CEO works through partnership with IRC and other organizations that offer financial education and these partners refer their clients to CEO for financing. 

All CEO loan applications must be submitted with the assistance of an IRC or SAFE financial coach, but CEO makes all final decisions regarding loan approval. Please see How CEO Makes Loan Decisions for more information.  

More information on CEO and their loan products can be found at www.irc-ceo.org. 

 

SAFE LOANS

As part of the SAFE project, CEO is offering auto loans at discounted rates to Afghan individuals and families that arrive in the US as a parolee, refugee or SIV between July 31, 2021-September 30, 2022. Individuals that do not meet these criteria are welcome to access CEO loan products at their normal rates. 

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of 7/6/22, CEO will no longer offer 0% interest auto, personal, education or immigration loans to new applicants. Instead, starting 7/6/22, CEO will offer a deep discount for SAFE-eligible clients seeking Auto Loans. Education, Immigration, and Personal loans are still available at the same rates we charge others (see details below) and Credit-Building Ladder Loans will remain 0% APR.

We sincerely apologize for this shift. Demand for SAFE loans has surpassed our initial estimates and we’re making this change to help ensure we can continue to offer loans. We hope you still take full advantage of the resources available through the SAFE project, including: financial education classes, financial coaching, and access to financial products to help you achieve your goals.

CEO will still honor the 0% rate for all applications submitted prior to July 5, 2022 at 11:59 pm. Any applications received for SAFE loans after that date will be subject to the interest or fee-based rates as described below.

More information on loan eligibility and rates can be found below and on SAFE Loan Fast Facts

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GENERAL LOAN APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND RATES

Before applying for a CEO loan, including credit building loans, all applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Meet with a financial coach- A financial coach can help you achieve your financial goals and assist you in completing your loan application. To contact a financial coach please reach out to SAFE here.  
  • Attend a Credit Education Class- SAFE is offering live credit classes every month. Class information is located here.  

Fee-Based Alternatives

Many of our clients do not want to pay interest due to religious reasons. CEO offers fee-based alternatives for every type of loan we offer. Fee-based loans have a comparable overall cost to CEO’s interest-based loans and some feel they better align with their religious beliefs. Fee-based SAFE Auto Loans have also been discounted.

This document offers additional information about CEO’s fee-based loan alternatives.

 

Auto Purchase Loan  

Auto loans offer funds to finance a vehicle purchase.

  • 1 SAFE Auto loan per household
  • Total purchase price (not including fees, taxes) of vehicles financed using SAFE loan cannot exceed $30,0000

SAFE Auto Loan Rates

The normal interest rate on this loan product ranges from 6.49 –8.99%. SAFE-eligible applicants will receive a discount and access this loan product at a fixed interest rate of 5.49 –6.49%, dependent on down payment*. If a client has a moral/religious objection to interest, we have Fee-Based alternative financing options that have a comparably discounted cost for capital.

SAFE Auto Loan Fee-Based Alternative Discounted Rates

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Auto Loan Eligibility

In addition to the General Loan Requirements above, individuals must meet the following requirements to be considered for an auto purchase loan: 

  • Attend an Auto Purchase Class- SAFE is offering live auto-purchase workshops. The workshop schedule is located here.  
  • Valid government-issued Driver’s License- For information on getting a license, check out information at your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Bank Statements (2 months if available)
  • Proof of Income and/or employment

More information on the auto-purchase loan can be found here.

Education and Training Loan 

Education and training loans offer financing to pay for short-term training and achievement of an industry-recognized certificate or credential. Funds can be used towards tuition or direct expenses, such as textbooks, uniforms, and equipment required to complete the course.

Education and Training Loan Rates

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Fee-Based Alternative: Education and Training Loans

 

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Education and Training Loan Eligibility

In addition to the General Loan Requirements above, individuals must meet the following requirements to be considered for an education and training loan: 

  • Training Program Information(including costs for tuition and other expenses related to the training)  
  • Bank Statements (2 months if available)
  • Proof of Income and/or employment

More information on education and training loans can be found here.

Immigration Loan 

Immigration Loans offer clients of IRC’s Immigration Services access to flexible financing that can help pay for USCIS fees and/or other expenses related to an active IRC Immigration Services case.

 

Immigration Loan Rates

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Fee-Based Alternative: Immigration Loans

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Immigration Loan Eligibility

In addition to the General Loan Requirements above, individuals must meet the following requirements to be considered for an immigration loan: 

  • Referral or confirmation from IRC Immigration Staff
  • Bank Statements (2 months if available)
  • Proof of Income and/or employment

More information on immigration loans can be found here. 

 

Personal Loan 

Personal Loans are small installment loans that offer applicants flexible funds to support their financial health and goals. Common uses include refinancing high-interest debt, car repairs, security deposits/moving costs or paying for unanticipated expenses.

Personal Loan Rates

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Fee-Based Alternative: Personal Loans

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Personal Loan Eligibility

In addition to the General Loan Requirements above, individuals must meet the following requirements to be considered for a personal loan: 

  • Bank Statements (2 months if available)
  • Proof of Income and/or employment

More information on personal loans can be found here.

While you are waiting to schedule an appointment with a financial coach, we encourage you to get started on the items above and register for an upcoming class here! 

 

FOR CA RESIDENTS: CALIFORNIA LOANS MADE PURSUANT TO CA FINANCE LAW LICENSE

Contact us to inquire about getting a SAFE loan.