The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) has designed and launched special schemes to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. The interest rates on such loan schemes are set at a maximum of 8% and the maximum tenure is 36 months. Any individual with a disability can apply for these schemes and seek a loan of up to Rs. 25 lakhs.
NHFDC Schemes for Persons with Disabilities
|Scheme||Purpose of Scheme||Interest Rate (p.a.)||Loan Amount|
|Loan for income-generating activities||For setting up small businesses in the service or trade sector
For purchase of vehicle meant for commercial activities
Setting up of the small-scale industrial unit
|5% to 8%||Up to Rs. 25 lakhs|
|Financial Assistance for education or training of disabled individuals||The objective is to fund professional courses offered by recognized educational institutions across India or abroad||4%||Up to Rs. 20 lakhs|
|Financial aid for skill development & entrepreneurial support||Training offered to disabled persons for making them independent by offering technical training||-||-|
|Assistance for disabled young professionals||To offer financial assistance to disabled youth who are professionally qualified and looking for employment||5% to 8%||Up to Rs. 25 lakhs|
|Micro Financing Scheme||To help in starting or assisting in income-generating activities||Up to 5%||Rs. 10 lakhs|
Loan schemes offered by NHFDC come with a set of eligibility criteria which the applicant must match up to. While these may differ across schemes, the generic criteria are as below:
The applicant must be an Indian citizen and furnish proof of a minimum of 40% physical disability.
The applicant must be a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 55 years of age.
The yearly income of the individual must be minimum Rs.1 lakh in urban areas and it should be at least Rs. 80,000 if residing in rural areas.
The applicants should ensure that they do not have any outstanding loan obligations and should not have applied for any other financing scheme offered by the state or central government.
The applicants should ideally be part of self-help groups like Thrift and Credit Group.
Women borrowers have an edge when it comes to these schemes.
Additional Reading: Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana
Mahila Samriddhi Yojana
Women with physical disabilities and economically weak backgrounds can make the most of the Mahila Samriddhi scheme It helps them to augment or initiate income-generating sources of activities. This scheme disburses the loan amount with the help of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and State Channelising Agencies (SCAs).
Applicants must meet following eligibility criteria before applying for this scheme:
Applicant must be a woman citizen of India and furnish proof of 40% or higher amount of disability
Minimum age must be 18 years and maximum should be 55 years
Applicants have to furnish proof of yearly earnings of at least Rs.1 lakh in urban areas. If residing in rural areas, the income criteria is Rs. 80,000 annually.
Here are some of the features of Mahila Samriddhi Scheme:
Rate of Interest annual - Up to 4%
Loan Amount - Rs.25,000
Repayment Tenure - 3 to 6 months
Financing Pattern - NHFDC offers 90% of the project cost as part of this scheme
BOI Star Mitra Personal Loan
Other than NHFDC, many nationalised banks offer loan schemes to persons with disabilities. Among these, Bank of India offers a specially designed personal loan scheme to individuals with disabilities. This scheme is known as the BOI Star Mitra Personal Loan. It is designed to help physically challenged individuals who are looking to live independently. Here are the key features of this loan:
The loan scheme allows physically disabled persons to purchase equipment/appliances to promote physical rehabilitation.
Both self-employed and salaried individuals who are physically disabled can avail this loan.
Physically challenged minors can also avail this loan by applying through their parents or legal guardians.
The loan is secured and is designed in the form of a demand or term loan.
Applicants must furnish invoice/quotation of the purchases made, doctor’s certificate to state the need of the equipment, and a stamped receipt once equipment purchase has been made.
Obtaining Loans for Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities can seek loans from the NHFDC with the help of State Channelising Agencies (SCAs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or Nationalised Banks, and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). Here is the process to be followed for applying to these loan schemes via each of the available channels:
SCAs – The state governments publish the list of SCAs which can extend loan schemes to people with disabilities. Applicants must submit applications via the SCAs as per the prescribed format. The SCAs can grant loans up to Rs. 10 lakhs and for loans beyond Rs. 10 lakhs, the applications are reviewed and approved by NHFDC.
Nationalised Banks or RRBs – Loans for people with disabilities are offered by the NHFDC with the help of channels like nationalised banks and RRBs. The nationalised banks which offer these loan schemes include Andhra Bank, IDBI Bank and PNB. RRBs are found in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Gujarat, and Haryana. They dispense loans as per NHFDC guidelines to persons with disabilities.
NGOs – Economically weak Borrowers can take the benefit of microfinancing schemes offered by NHFDC. Under this scheme, NGOs reach out to the respective SCAs and furnish their application combined with relevant documents and other details.
Disability is no longer considered a taboo in today’s society. With the presence of various financial assistance programs and schemes, persons with disabilities can be on par with anyone else. They can compete in tough markets of trade and services or get themselves educated in the same manner as the rest. By making use of the schemes mentioned above, persons with disabilities can ensure that they are financially independent and lead a normal life with pride.