The Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit micro-lender, has begun offering loans to Rhode Island residents hoping to renew or apply for the first time for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA allows undocumented residents brought as children to the U.S. to avoid deportation.
The federal government announced the end of the DACA program earlier this month, giving eligible residents until October 5th to submit final applications for new enrollments and renewals. The cost to apply is about $500, not including any legal assistance fees.
Andy Posner, CEO of the Capital Good Fund, said his group is offering microloans to cover the cost of DACA applications. He said his organization is more likely to provide a loan to an undocumented resident, who may lack a credit history, than a traditional lending company.
“Some institutions aren’t comfortable, they don’t understand DACA and the unique legal status DACA applicants or participants have, and they’re likely to not have any credit history,” Posner said. “So to the extent that a bank has a FICO score requirement, they wouldn’t qualify.”
Even if a DACA recipient has good credit, it is not a guarantee for a loan.
“Presumably you could get a loan from a credit union or your bank, but banks don’t really tend to do $500 dollar loans. You might be able to get it if you have a good relationship, but that’s not something that they often do,” Posner said.
If approved, a DACA renewal or first-time application would extend protections for an undocumented resident for two years. DACA recipients do not have legal status, but they are allowed to work and remain in the country without fear of deportation.