Hear from Borrowers & Guarantors




Jonathan Cohen

At the end of 2018, Congress and the President could not come to an agreement on the federal budget, which led to a government shutdown. As an air traffic controller and an essential federal government employee, I was forced to report to work without being paid until the shutdown ended. No one knew when the stalemate would end nor when we would get paid.

While I was fortunate enough to know I would eventually get paid for the time I did work, bills, mortgage payments, preschool tuition and other expenses were not going to wait for lawmakers to settle their differences.

The limbo and uncertainty I was in was concerning, knowing I had a family of five to provide for. I started looking anywhere for some help.

I needing the money for the short term, but was very hesitant in taking out a loan from a bank or credit union. I did not want to have to pay back the money with interest, it was just for the time being until the government would pay me. This is when I learned about HFLA. The idea of getting an interest-free loan seemed too good to be true. I went through the application process and was able to get my loan within the week, giving me and my family a great deal of comfort that all financial needs would be met until the shutdown ended.

While the shutdown only lasted 35 days, the loan from HFLA gave me the peace of mind that allowed me to focus on my job as an air traffic controller, without worrying about how I was going to take care of my family. Thanks for everything!


Sandy Schwartz

At the time I applied for a loan of $3000, I was separated from my husband. I used the loan to pay off some debt and hire a moving company to move to an apartment where I currently live and am able to repay the interest free loan over a period of 18 months. I think of myself as an independent person so being able to turn to HFLA rather than family or friends saved me, not only financially but mentally. My family has a long history with HFLA including a brother-in-law having served on its board. I never thought I would need to seek financial assistance from the Jewish community, but when I was in a bind I knew where to turn. 

The volunteer who processed my loan was kind and understanding. She was interested in not only my circumstances, but me. When we spoke or exchanged emails, she always asked how I was doing. I am glad to say I am OK because of the generosity of HFLA. To all who contribute and volunteer your services, thank you, and please know that you make a difference.



I am very grateful to the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Austin for providing an interest-free loan which has helped me and my family especially during this challenging time of the Coronavirus. I have been unemployed for the past few months and although I signed a job offer which had a start date in April that has since been postponed several times, my request for unemployment benefits had been delayed due to TWC backlog. I was feeling very desperate for financial help as I had exhausted all of my retirement savings and credit cards, and was starting to get behind on child support payments and bills.

Thankfully the Hebrew Free Loan Association was very supportive and gracious while guiding me through the application process and quickly approved a loan. I was able to use the loan to make some child support payments, pay bills, repay my roommate on overdue rent, register my car, and buy groceries for myself. My ex-wife was able to use the child support to help with health insurance, some basics, and some summer camp expenses for our children. Thanks to Hebrew Free Loan I was able to have groceries to truly celebrate Shabbat and make home-made challah for the first time in several months. The loan has helped my morale immensely, and although I am still awaiting my job start date and continuing to interview for other job opportunities in the meantime, I have new hope that I can survive and thrive again. Thank you Hebrew Free Loan Association of Austin!

Donor Testimonial

Sandy & Camille Kress

“We’re big believers in the HFLA!

First, the program provides timely assistance to folks in need.

Second, it’s a loan, which means that both the community and the recipient have a stake in the success of the assistance.

Third, as a result, the funds are “recycled,” which means that their “pin action” is considerable and that all the parties, including both donors and recipients are involved in helping those newly in need.

Fourth, it’s a program that helps Jews in accord with Maimonides’ highest level of tzedakah – it helps sustain people before they’re impoverished by offering them a gift in a dignified manner that helps them help themselves.”