Assistive Technology Loans
- Up to $25,000 with up to a 5-year term for most kinds of assistive technology.
- Up to $60,000 with up to a 10-year term for home modification loans.
- Up to $60,000 with up to a 10-year term for adapted vehicle loans. A 10% down payment is required.
- Available to residents of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
- No fees are charged.
- Loan interest rate is 5% APR for assistive technology loans, with the exception of adapted vehicle loans. Adapted loan interest rates are set by the Board and can vary monthly.
Washington, Oregon, and Idaho residents of all ages with disabilities of all types, including seniors with age-related functional limitations, are eligible.
See below for answers to some frequently asked questions about our assistive technology, home modification, and adapted vehicle loans.
Ready to Apply?
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology includes both devices and services. A device is any item or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functional capability of a person with a disability, including older adults with age-related functional limitations.
Assistive technology includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
who can apply for northwest access fund’s low-interest loans?
Washington and Oregon residents of all ages with any type of disability, including seniors with age-related hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive limitations, can apply for our loans. Northwest Access Fund also considers applications from family members, employers, and other representatives, as long as the item is purchased for a person with a disability.
What can Northwest Access Fund’s assistive technology loans be used for?
Assistive Technology loans can be used to purchase any device that helps to improve the functioning of a person with a disability as it relates to the disability. Examples include: hearing aids, dentures, closed circuit TV magnifiers, wheelchairs, scooters, wheelchair accessible vehicles, vehicle hand controls and wheelchair lifts, computers, Braille readers, and specialized software for individuals with learning disabilities. Loans also can be used to pay for home accessibility modifications (e.g., ramps, bathroom modifications, etc.) and to purchase assistive technology services such as evaluations, training, extended warranties, insurance, maintenance, and repair that is related to the technology.
What can Northwest Access Fund’s home modification loans be used for?
Home modification loans can be used to finance home accessibility modifications and services.
Examples of home accessibility modifications include:
- Shower modifications
- Stair Lifts
- Grab bars and railings
- Push-button door openers
- Widening of doors and hallways
- Counter height adjustments
- Light fixtures
What can Northwest Access Fund’s adapted vehicle loans be used for?
Adapted vehicle loans can be used to finance:
- Vehicles with existing accessibility adaptations
- Chassis of a vehicle that will be adapted
- Adaptations to be installed into an existing vehicle, like ramps, hand controls, and chair lifts
How much can I borrow and what are the terms?
Our loans have no fees and our interest rate varies according to the type of assistive technology you wish to purchase. Our general assistive technology and home modification loans have a 5% interest rate. Our adapted vehicle loans have an interest rate set by the Board and can vary monthly. Term length varies depending on the type of loan, the useful life of the technology/adaptation, and the income available to repay the loan.
- Assistive technology loans: Up to $25,000, with up to a 60-month term;
- Home modification loans: Up to $60,000, with up to a 120-month term;
- Adapted vehicle loans: Up to $60,000, with up to a 120-month term. A 10% down payment is required.
How do I apply?
We offer multiple ways to apply for an assistive technology loan:
- Click here to apply online.
- Download the Microsoft Word Application or PDF Application
- Download the Microsoft Word Large Print Application or PDF Large Print Application
To have an application mailed to you, call our office at 206-328-5116 or toll free at 877-428-5116, send an email to [email protected], or mail a request to:
Northwest Access Fund
PO Box 55759
Shoreline, WA 98155
What happens after I submit my application?
Your application will be reviewed by staff for completeness. We also will obtain a credit report and may call you for additional information. Once the application is complete, it will be submitted to our Loan Review Committee, which meets twice a month. If the Committee approves your application, we will send you a Promissory Note and other loan documents. Once these closing documents are signed and returned, we will pay the vendor directly. If your application is not approved, we will tell you why and try to help you identify other resources.
What criteria will be used to decide if I get a loan?
Both eligibility and ability to repay must be shown. Eligibility is established when you show that (a) you have a disability and (b) the item you want to buy qualifies as “assistive technology.” Ability to repay is evaluated on the basis of income, expenses, current debt levels, availability of other resources, and credit history.
My credit is not great. Will that disqualify me?
Having poor credit or a history of bankruptcy will not necessarily disqualify you. Your circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Northwest Access Fund staff will help you identify steps you can take to improve your chances of qualifying (e.g., participating in financial coaching, or taking care of past due accounts or items in collections).
My income is very limited and I’ve never taken out a loan before. Can I still apply?
Absolutely. Northwest Access Fund looks at each application individually. In some cases, we may ask for a co-signer or collateral. In other cases, we may offer extended payments and/or a smaller loan.
Who finances Northwest Access Fund’s low-interest loan programs?
We are supported by a mix of federal, state, and private grants, as well as individual donations. We have current or recent grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions.