Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, owner and operator of Field Trip Friends, used a Mālama Loan from OHA to expand her business. Field Trip Friends takes keiki and their ʻohana on huakaʻi to places on Oʻahu, such as Paepae o He'eia, with the goal of developing the keiki’s love for the environment.

Mālama Loan (NHRLF)

Mālama Loans are intended for Native Hawaiian consumers who want to improve homes, consolidate debt or cover education expenses. The program makes up to $19,999 available to qualified applicants, whose interest rate on the loans is 6.25 percent. To start or expand a business, the program makes up to $19,999 available to qualified applicants, whose interest rate on the loans is 4.00 percent. The repayment period on the loan is seven years. Since it was created in November 2007, the program has given out more than $34 million to nearly 2,000 Hawaiian borrowers.

The money for the Mālama Loans comes from the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund (NHRLF), which is administered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs through First Hawaiian Bank. Native Hawaiian consumers and businesses can apply for the loan at First Hawaiian Bank. Applications for the loans are approved by the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund Board of Directors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the mission of OHA’s Mālama Loan?
A: To enhance access for all persons of Native Hawaiian ancestry to credit, capital, and financial services & skills so as to create jobs, wealth, and economic & social well-being for all the people of Hawaiʻi

Q: How can I use OHA’s Mālama Loan?
A: OHA’s Mālama Loan may be used for business startup or expansion, a home improvement project, education or debt consolidation.

Q: What does OHA’s Mālama Loan feature?
A: For home improvement, education or debt consolidation OHA’s Mālama Loan features a 6.25% APR, fixed interest rate, amortized over a 7 year term (principal and interest); up to $19,999. For business loans OHA’s Mālama Loan features a 4.00% APR, fixed interest rate, amortized over a 7 year term (principal and interest); up to $19,999.

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for OHA’s Mālama Loan?
A: To apply for OHA’s Mālama Loan program, you MUST be a U.S. Citizen, Hawaiʻi Resident, and Native Hawaiian (verified by Birth Certificate, OHA Hawaiian Registry Card, or Kamehameha Schools verification letter).

Q: What are some Key Factors of the OHA’s Mālama Loan?

  • Business must be 100% Native Hawaiian owned
  • Credit score of 600 and Debt to Income Ratio (DIR) of 45% or lower, 650 or higher credit score for debt consolidations
  • For loan requests $10,000 and over, two years most recent personal/business tax returns, and one month current consecutive pay stubs if applicable
  • For business applications, interim financial statements and two years most recent Federal Tax Returns including all schedules
  • For loan requests under $10,000, one month consecutive current pay stubs andW-2 is required
  • Minimum loan amount $2,500
  • Technical assistance may be required of approved loans
  • Verification and breakdown of the use of funds is a requirement
  • Draft business plan is required for startup business loans

Q: Where can I get an Application?

For more information, please contact Robert Crowell at (808)594-1924 or email him at

Mālama Loan Links

Research: Mālama Loan Impact In the Community

OHA Mālama Loan Testimonials




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