Individuals who are losing income because of the coronavirus will now have the option of borrowing up to $5,000 per month for up to three months, using an emergency consumer lending program that state legislators approved earlier this week.
The loans will be either low-interest or no-interest and will have other protections for borrowers.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is coordinating the program. FAME Maine CEO Bruce Wagner says the loans, which are backed by half a million dollars from the state treasury, will be more favorable than typical consumer loans.
“There's a 90 day grace period where nothing would have to be paid, so that's really extraordinary for a consumer loan.”
Wagner says people should go to their banks or credit unions to get the loans. “FAME is essentially coordinating between the lenders and the treasury to provide reserves for any defaults that occur on that.”
FAME is also offering direct loans to businesses and insuring loans for lenders who make loans to businesses experiencing hardship due to Covid 19.