Jewish Free Loans of Charleston

Charleston Jewish Family Services (CJFS) is excited to embark on a new initiative for helping individuals and families in the Charleston community—Jewish Free Loans of Charleston. Supporting one another through “life’s ups and downs,” we ensure the strength and vitality of our community now and into the future. Jewish or “Hebrew” Free Loan Associations have been providing interest-free loans to individuals across North America for over a century. There is a recognition that sometimes life throws a wrench in one’s plans, and that the support of the community can make the difference in how one is able to meet that challenge.


 Applicants must:

  • Identify as being Jewish
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a Co-signer (Two co-signers if the loan is over $2000)
  • Have lived in the Charleston or Greater Charleston area for at least one year


  1. Contact Sara Sharnoff Chesley at 843-614-6494 to download your application and Co-Signer application.
  2. Provide required documents including proof of income for Borrower and Co-signer.
  3. Provide required documents (complete application and proof of income from both Borrower and Co-signer)
  4. After credit checks are completed, you will meet members of the Loan Committee for an in-person interview.
  5. After all documentation is received and interview is complete you will receive notification of your loan status.

Loan Details

  • Loans available for up to $4000.
  • Loans are available for life’s “ups and downs,” e.g. legal fees, small business loans, car repair, medical expenses, housing assistance, adoption/fertility assistance, etc. Loans will be made for a worthwhile or legitimate purpose. Borrowers are required to provide a Guarantor/Co-signer for loan. A spouse is a co-borrower but does not satisfy the requirement for a co-signer.
  • One co-signer required for loans up to $2000, two co-signers required for loans of $2001-$4000.
  • Borrower and Co-signer are required to provide proof of employment/income source(s).
  • Borrower and Co-signer are both subject to a secure credit check run by the Charleston Jewish Federation.
  • An in-person interview with the Loan Committee is a required part of the approval process.
  • The loan documentation and application materials are strictly confidential.

Repayment Details

  • Loans must be re-paid in the time-period determined by the loan committee, not to exceed 36 months.
  • Loan repayment will be set up and paid by automatic debit/credit charge or ACH (automatic withdrawals from checking or savings account).
  • Failure to make timely payments may result in a request for full payment at/or before the next scheduled payment date.
  • Co-signer will be required to repay the loan if the Borrower fails to do so.

 Contact Sara Chesley at or call 843-614-6494.


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