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Assistive Technology Financing Program

General Information and Frequently Asked Questions

The Assistive Technology Financing Program is an alternative way for individuals to obtain the assistive technology devices and services they need.

Assistive technology devices include any piece of equipment or product, whether acquired commercially from a generic retail source, from a specialty dealer, or custom made that is used by a person with a disability to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities. Assistive technology services directly assist an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device (such as training in the use of a device or repairs of an assistive technology device that one owns)

The Assistive Technology Financing Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) in partnership with First Union National Bank, our lending institution, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which allocates money for the loan guarantee.

Who is eligible?
Any Pennsylvania resident with a disability or older Pennsylvanian who needs assistive technology. Family members may apply on behalf of children or other family members with disabilities as long as the device or service is for the use of the person with disabilities.

What is covered?
Loans will be considered for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services, as defined above (including modified vehicles and home modifications).

How much can I borrow?
You may request loans of $1,000 to $25,000. Your ability to repay the amount requested will affect the approval of your loan.

What is the interest rate on these loans?
The interest rate is based on the prime rate of interest that is in effect on the day our lending institution receives an application. These rates do change, so you will need to ask for the current rate. However, the rate in effect at the time your loan is approved is fixed for the duration of the loan.

How much time will I have to pay off a loan?
Re-payment terms are based on the expected useful life of the assistive technology device. For example, loans for computers and related devices must be re-paid in two and one half years, while loans for home modifications may be re-paid in a maximum of ten years.

Loans can be made for the purchase of new or used vehicles that must be modified for use by a person with a disability. Used vehicles must be no more than five years old and have 50,000 miles or less. Loan for used vehicles must be re-paid in six years, while loans for new vehicles can extend to seven years.

For most other types of assistive technology, a four to five year re-payment schedule is typical.

How are decisions about my application made?
When the PATF receives your application, we will first review it to make sure it is complete. We may request additional information.

Once your application is complete, we will fax it to our lending institution for a credit check.

If the bank judges you to be credit-worthy, your application will be approved immediately and the loan documents will be sent to you within several days.

If First Union National Bank does not judge you to be credit-worthy, the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation will be asked to guarantee your loan. Our guarantee means that the Foundation promises to pay off your loan if you default (do not make your payments).

Whenever the bank requests the guarantee, our Board of Directors must review your application and credit status and vote as to whether to allow access to the guarantee should it be needed. The extent of an applicant's credit problems, as well as the dollar amount of the loan are important factors in this decision.

How long will it take?
If our lending institution does not request access to the guarantee, we can usually process your completed application within two to three weeks of receipt.
If the guarantee is requested, it will usually take four to six weeks.

If approved, how will I get the loan documents and the money?
Loan documents will be sent directly to the borrower by First Union National Bank. You need to review the loan terms carefully before signing the documents.

A check for the amount of the loan will be sent to the borrower after the signed loan documents are received, usually in less than two weeks.

If you have additional questions, please call 215-204-0452, 800-204-7428 V, 800-204-7428 tty, or email at rev 9/00


1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540
Arlington, VA 22209-1903
Phone: 703/524-6686  Fax: 703/524-6630  TTY: 703/524-6639

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