Bridge the Gap Loan - An alternative to payday loans


A partnership between Afena Federal Credit Union and the Community Foundation of Grant County. 

Our Bridge the Gap loan program is an alternative to predatory payday lending that provides convenient, small-dollar, low-interest, flexible term loans specifically for low-income families who need help dealing with emergency expenses.

The loan program is designed to help financially vulnerable individuals successfully manage unexpected expenses in the moment, while also helping them build an emergency savings for the future and improving their credit history.

Affordable Financing with Immediate Access to Cash 


Only 4 out of 10 adults have at least $400 saved in their account to handle surprise expenses…which means if the car breaks, the refrigerator dies, the basement floods, or anything else expensive and unexpected pops up (and it will), paying for it could be a problem.


For people who don’t qualify for traditional financing options because of income or credit challenges, an unexpected expense can quickly spiral from a minor issue into a major problem…That’s why we created the Bridge the Gap loan program. As an alternative to payday loans, Bridge the Gap is designed to provide immediate access to cash for individuals and families in Grant County who need it most.

Loan eligibility requirements:

  • Must live in Grant County
  • Have an income of no more than 80% of the 2021 Median Family Income limits
  • Be able to provide 2 weeks of pay stubs  
  • Must open share account and become a member of Afena Federal Credit Union


Loan limits for the program are determined by length of membership with the Credit Union:


Members who have been with Afena for over 6 months can borrow $200-$2,000

Members who are new to Afena in the last 6 months can borrow $200-$600


Repayment terms vary depending on the loan amount, but are designed to keep monthly payments as low as $40 per month. For example, if you borrowed $1,050 for 24 months at an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 6.00%, then your monthly payment would be $46.54 per month. The maximum loan term is up to 60 months and interest rates are as low as 4.25%. 

Improve Credit History


The loan is designed to have a low, easy to afford monthly payment, which will be reported to the credit reporting agency, and on-time payments will help participants strengthen their credit history and their overall financial health.

Build Emergency Savings


The Bridge the Gap loan is specially designed to help participants build an emergency savings account of at least $100 as it is paid back. Once the loan is re-paid in full, the funds in the savings account will be available to use or save for future emergency needs. 

Financial Coaching 


Each participant will receive personalized, confidential, and 100% free financial coaching from our professionally-trained certified financial counselors to help them achieve future financial success. 


APR = Annual percentage rate.

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