OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Yama Kaholoʻaʻa, a longtime resident of the Hoʻolehua Homestead on Molokaʻi, took out an emergency $7,500 loan from a consumer program at OHA to repair the roof, windows and walls of his four-bedroom house, where he and wife, Caroline, are raising three granddaughters. In a sit-down conversation in his garage, Yama and his 15-year old granddaughter, Makaila, talk about how the loan has helped improve stability for his ʻohana.

Consumer Micro-Loan (CMLP)

The Consumer Micro-Loan Program (CMLP) is designed to provide low cost loans to Native Hawaiians who are experiencing temporary financial hardship due to unforeseen events, or who wish to enhance their careers.

Loan Terms

  • Up to $7,500
  • Simple interest, fixed at 5%
  • Up to 60 months
  • Collateral not required
  • No gross annual income limit

Credit & Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be of Native Hawaiian ancestry, 18 years of age and a resident of the State of Hawaii
  • Applicant should have a satisfactory credit history with a minimum credit score of 600 and the ability to repay the loan
  • Two years of employment history is preferred
  • Income to debt ratio of no more than 50%
  • Loan must be for applicant’s benefit
  • Loans are available to individuals only. Partnerships, corporations, sole proprietorships, etc., are excluded

Loan Examples

  • Allowable Loans
    • Death in the Family/Funeral Expense
    • Emergency Health Situation
    • Unexpected Home or Auto Repairs
    • CDL License
    • Apprenticeship Programs
    • Career Development Courses
  • Unallowable Loans
    • Debt Consolidation or Refinancing
    • Vacation
    • Investment
    • Re-Lending by Borrower
    • Home Remodeling
    • Past due utilities or rent
    • Down payment loans
    • Auto purchase

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Micro-Loan? How is it different from a regular loan?
A: A Micro-Loan is a small loan made by an organization trying to help the community. Micro-loans are usually smaller than regular consumer loans that a typical bank would make, and usually have a lower interest rate. Our program has a 5% interest rate with a maximum loan term of 5 years.

Q: Who is a primary applicant?
A: The primary applicant is the first person listed on the Consumer Micro-Loan Program application. This is the person which will derive a direct benefit from the loan proceeds.

Q: Who is a guarantor?
A: A guarantor is a person who guarantees payment of a financial obligation or loan. The guarantor has a legal obligation to repay the loan if the primary borrower defaults.

Q:  How can I apply for a Consumer Micro Loan?
A: You can do one of the following:

  1. Apply online here
  2. At any OHA office
  3. Call (808) 594-1823 for an application to be mailed to you
  4. Download a CMLP application here. For additional information call (808)594-1835

NOTE: The online loan application process is quick and easy, simply register with an e-mail address and you are on your way. The process will typically take 20-25 minutes, and you’ll have the ability to upload required documents. Once you complete the application, a lending associate will contact you within two business days. We appreciate the fact you have chosen OHA for your loan needs, and we will make every effort to give you a loan decision as quickly as possible.

Q: Where do I submit my application and required documents?
A: You may drop off your application and required documents in person at any OHA office or mail it directly to the OHA Oahu office: 560 N. Nimitz Hwy. Suite 200, Honolulu, HI 96817

Q: Does the CMLP make loans for past due utility and housing payments, debt consolidation, down payment for a home purchase or mortgage closing costs?
A: No. Due to a limited funding base, and current guidelines, this program is geared to those with a temporary financial hardship and career development opportunities.

Q: What documents must I submit with my application?
A: OHA requires the following documentation:

  • Proof of income: one month of paystubs for all W2 employees and 2 years of federal tax returns to include all schedules on self-employed borrowers.
  • Proof of Hawaiian ancestry – copy of birth certificate or OHA registry card
  • Letter as to why you are applying for this loan
  • Verification of the use of funds is required

Q: How fast can loans be approved and funds disbursed?
A: Most applications are processed the same day they are received. Once an application has been approved, documents can be signed and funds can be disbursed usually within five business days.

Q: I live on an neighbor island. Do I have to come to Oahu for the loan closing?
A: No. OHA’s Neighbor Island staff is fully trained on loan closing and fund disbursement procedures and will assist you in the loan closing. Specific loan instructions will be provided along with the loan documents.

Research: CMLP Loan Impact in the Community

For more information please contact Lareina Meinecke at (808)594-1823 or email at cmlp@ohaloanfund.org.


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