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The Purpose of the Access to Telework Fund (ATF) is to increase access to and funding of computers and other equipment including adaptive equipment so that Oklahomans with disabilities can telework. Telework outcomes can encompass work that can be performed effectively from home and/or remote sites away from the office, such as work on the road or at a telework center. Telework would apply to individuals with disabilities who are currently unemployed, underemployed, self-employed or needing to maintain employment on a full time or part time basis.
The OkAT provides low-interest loans with favorable terms and conditions through the participating financial institution, BancFirst of Stillwater; and provides loan guarantees so that people with disabilities and their families may acquire computers and other equipment in order to telework. The loan can not be used to refinance a previous purchase. The Board of Directors consists of eight individuals, the majority of which have disabilities or family members with disabilities. The Board meets quarterly to conduct business or via teleconference as needed to make loan guaranty decisions.
While OkAT provides guaranty for low interest loans to persons denied a low interest loan by BancFirst, the loan criteria established must have a reasonable expectation that the borrower will repay his or her loan. Generally, OkAT is looking for a pattern of stability in its loan applicants in areas such as type of residence, length of time at residence and length of time at present job. It is also looking for a pattern of stability with respect to credit history. Where credit problems have arisen, it is essential that the applicant is doing something about those problems. This includes reducing current debt, assuring cash flow is sufficient for living expenses and loans, and making written arrangements with creditors.
The two most important criteria for an OkAT loan guaranty are credit history and capacity to repay. A pattern of adverse credit that cannot be adequately explained and is not being dealt with will result in a declined application. Similarly, an individual who does not have adequate resources after paying all other obligations (as measured by a debt service to income ratio) may not be approved for a loan guaranty.
While the Board may make exceptions for individuals who can prove their ability to repay, a 50% debt service to income ratio (including the monthly payment for the new OkAT loan) is typically required for loan approvals. Applicants who do not meet that requirement may provide a qualified co-applicant.
The Loan Coordinator may ask individuals having debt or credit issues to provide additional financial and/or other information in order to qualify for a loan guaranty. Individuals having unacceptable credit may provide a qualified co-signer. If the Board can not verify that an applicant's poor credit history is directly related to the individual’s disability, the Board will generally decline an OkAT guaranteed loan application. OkAT will also generally deny individuals who do not have stability in their financial and personal lives.
Beacon Score: BancFirst and OkAT uses a credit scoring system and credit reports as part of its decision process on all applicants. The automatic scoring or Beacon Score ranges from 400 to above 800. Financial institutions typically require scores approaching 700 for loan approval. A Beacon Score of 500 is generally required for OkAT to approve a guaranty loan.
Debt to Income Ratio
OkAT will generally approve an applicant with a 50% debt to income ratio if the borrower can adequately document sufficient cash flow for the loan. Individuals with subsidized living arrangements may qualify for a guaranteed loan even if their debt to income ratio exceeds 50%. Qualifying borrowers must document that they have sufficient resources to pay for all living expenses and still have a reasonable expectation of repayment before a loan may be approved by OkAT. The Board may approve loan guaranty to individuals who have additional projected income, which is verifiable. Individuals having approval for special funding (such as a Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) through SSA) may be considered without regard to their debt to income ratio.
Effective Date: February 9, 2010