Paraloan is the trading name of The New Zealand Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Foundation. The foundation was established in 1974 as a result of a national appeal to set up a trust fund on behalf of people in New Zealand with physical disabilities.
One of the greatest needs of paraplegic and physically disabled persons is access to low-cost finance to help them become self sufficient and independant.
The concept of self-help, rather than charity, was one of the strong points of the original appeal which set up Paraloan and still holds good today.
As of June 2019, Paraloan had funds of $4.7 million invested in over 64 loans to people with physical disabilities.
Most lending is for housing (90%) and the rest is spread between motor vehicle purchases, self-employment ventures, debt repayment and miscellaneous purchases (e.g. wheelchairs, mobility scooters, household items, computers).
$23 million has been lent out during the 46 years of the Foundation's existence.
The policy of Paraloan is to lend only to people with physical disabilities. A doctor's certificate must be supplied outlining the applicant's physical disability.
The loan must be deemed to be in the best interests of the applicant, and be affordable to the applicant.
Applicants for whom money is not available or not affordable from other sources are looked upon most favourably by Paraloan, and tend to get the lowest interest rates.
To provide financial assistance to aid people with physical disabilities.
Paraloan is a lender, as a general rule, where other avenues of funding are not available or affordable.