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Emergency Loan Fund (ELF)

Emergency Loan Fund (ELF)

What is the EAP-ELF?
Established in 1991, the EAP-ELF is an emergency loan fund to help EAP clients (active employees) who are experiencing a temporary personal financial emergency and have exhausted all other avenues to obtain money. The emergency must be unforeseen, unplanned and unavoidable. Also, the loan fund is predominantly for one-time use. Personal questions regarding your finances will be asked.

Who is Eligible for the EAP-ELF?

  • Full time, active UMaine faculty, salaried and hourly employees
  • Are under no active disciplinary action
  • Must have an unanticipated event that creates a financial emergency
  • Have at least 1 year continuous, successful employment*
  • Have no current or previous unpaid EAP-ELF loans
  • Show evidence to improve personal financial situation
  • Have exhausted all other financial avenues
  • Have an in-person EAP session if within an hour drive of UMaine

For employees who are more than an hour away, a telephone meeting will suffice for the initial meeting. Forms should be downloaded from the EAP website and submitted by FAX. The promissory note with original signature must be received before a check is mailed. Funding by phone will likely take a few days longer than face-to-face.

*New employees may be eligible for up to $350 loan prior to receiving the first paycheck. Full repayment amount will be deducted from first paycheck.

How Much Money Can Be Borrowed?

  • Maximum of $750 per year
  • Maximum number of 3 loans per 10-year period
  • Generally a minimum of 12 months between requests
  • First time applicants take priority over repeat applicants
  • Must pay off each loan in full before applying for another loan
  • Checks are made out to up to 2 vendors

How Are Loans Paid Back?
A promissory note is signed authorizing automatic payroll deductions. All loans are typically repaid in six months but in severe circumstances are repaid within 12 months. It is preferred that loan payment is completed before work scheduled breaks, such as summer break.

Upon resignation or termination from employment with UMaine, the balance on the loan becomes immediately due and payable and will be deducted from the final paycheck. Unpaid loans will be referred to the Bursar’s Office for collection.

What Types of Situations Might Be Appropriate For the EAP-ELF?
This is not simply a loan fund but exists mainly to help employees who have no other way to pay for financial emergencies.

Examples of unseen or unexpected situations that may create a financial emergency (not inclusive):

  • Accident, car or otherwise
  • Lay-off, illness or death of someone who contributes to household finances
  • Major household emergency repairs, e.g. furnace, sewer back-up
  • Substantial increase in medical bills due to major illness
  • Relocation expenses associated with new employee ($350 maximum)
  • Need counseling, cannot pay for uninsured portion when services are rendered.

What Might Not be Appropriate for the EAP-ELF?

The EAP-ELF is not intended to be used in situations where discretionary (non-essential) spending has contributed to the financial emergency.

What Information Is Needed To Apply For the Loan?*
The process is similar to that of a bank loan, and therefore personal finances are examined. The following information is required:

  • Documentation of income from all household members
  • Monthly budget (including debts)
  • Bank statements within past 7 days of balances in all checking and savings accounts
  • Bill for which funds are requested (vendor)
  • If for repair, a minimum of two estimates Signed document attesting that all information on application is complete and accurate and that financial emergency is genuine.
  • Application containing misleading or false information will not be considered.

*Once application made, all documentation must be submitted within 5 working days or application is void.

What should I bring to the ELF Session?

Who Grants Approval?

Three EAP Advisory Council members, not the EA counselor, approve the loan. During a conference call with three (3) members of the EAP Advisory Council, the EA counselor presents the following information:

  • Reason for the emergency
  • Amount of money requested and name of vendor
  • Financial information regarding income, balances in bank accounts, monthly budget, outstanding debt, etc.
  • Evidence of an effort to correct the issue (when appropriate)
  • A prepayment plan

Names, gender, work place, or other identifiers are NOT provided.

The EAP Advisory Council is composed of two faculty members, two salaried, three hourly employees selected by their respective representative bodies, one representative from Facilities Management and one from Cooperative Extension, and ex-officio, the Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources or his/her designee. Approval by two of the three members is needed for a final disposition of a loan request. If a request is turned down, the applicant may resubmit additional evidence to support need.

How Confidential Is This Process?
No names are presented to the EAP Advisory Council members to insure confidentiality. Information regarding the specifics of an application that might identify the applicant also remains confidential. such as gender, department, etc. Certain staff members must have knowledge of the employee’s name and contact information, but they do not have access to background information regarding the need for the request. These include the EAP Administrative Assistant (for processing), and Human Resources/Payroll (for payroll deduction).

How Long Will It Take For A Decision To Be Reached?
A decision on each request is reached within three (3) working days after the submission of a complete application.

If Approval Is Granted, How Is The Money Received?
The employee will be informed immediately of the decision. If approval is granted, the check(s) can usually be picked up at the EAP office within 24 hours. All checks are made payable to the vendor. No checks will be written to the employee.

How Can I Contribute to the ELF?
The EAP Emergency Loan Fund is entirely dependent on contributions. Contributions are both welcome and needed and can be made by sending a check payable to the University of Maine to:

University of Maine
P.O. Box 370
Orono, ME 04473-0370

Please write Emergency Loan Fund in the check memo section or indicate in your cover letter that the money is intended for the Emergency Loan Fund. Any questions about donations can be addressed to the UMaine Development Office at 207.581.1151. Another way to make a significant contribution is to support the fund by word of mouth, talking about it amongst your colleagues, co-workers, family and friends.

Gifts in support of the University of Maine are accepted and managed by the University of Maine Development Office. The University of Maine is a 501 (c) (3) organization. Contributions to the University of Maine are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please consult with your tax adviser for details.