The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) is a nonprofit certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) created in 2009 with a seed grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). SELF is a mission-driven lending organization focused on providing low and moderate-income homeowners with access to affordable financing for sustainable property improvements, including energy efficiency, solar, storm resilience, and more. The goal was to create innovative clean energy financing tools to help kick start the clean energy economy and to assist working-class families, seniors on fixed incomes, and low and moderate-income (LMI) homeowners. SELF provides low-cost loans for home repairs and improvements that improve safety, health, and quality of life, while also lowering energy and insurance bills and increasing home equity.
Easy Loans For Improving Homes
SELF’s mission is to rebuild and empower underserved communities by providing access to affordable and innovative financing for sustainable property improvements, with the primary focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate resilience in low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods. We strive to create positive social, economic, and environmental impacts by helping people improve the health, safety, and quality of life in their homes while reducing operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
SELF provides accessible and affordable loans for property improvements which include:
· Energy Efficiency (e.g. high-efficiency A/C, LED lights)
· Renewable Energy (e.g., solar PV, solar water heaters, solar attic fans, solar A/C systems)
· Storm Resilience (e.g., new roofs and repairs, impact windows, hurricane shutters)
· Water Quality (e.g., septic-to-sewer conversions and lateral line replacements. Potable water hook-ups. Plumbing)
· Disability Modifications/Aging In Place (e.g., wheelchair ramps, walk-in showers, widening doorways and hallways, assistive technologies, and more)
· Miscellaneous (20% of the project can be for general home improvements not included above)
Do I Qualify?
Any homeowners can apply but SELF focuses primarily in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and has special programs for veterans, seniors, female heads-of-household, disabled homeowners, and individuals with poor credit.
How To Apply
SELF approves applicant(s) based on their ability to pay, not credit scores or percentages. The primary applicant must be the owner of the subject property and must be located in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama.
To apply is easy, visit https://solarenergyloanfund.org/get-started/ or give the SELF team a call at (407) 640-2387
The Application Process
1. Pre-Qualify: Start by answering a few questions about yourself and your project. SELF has created a proprietary underwriting program that is built into the salesforce system and helps approve loans based on key indicators. Once the client is approved for a loan, they pick a contractor and a quote and notify SELF.
2. Select a Contractor: Our pre-approved contractors are vetted to ensure your project is handled by the best available.
3. Project Begins: We will help monitor the progress and make sure everything is going as planned.
4. Verification: No contractor is paid until we verify the project for completion and customer satisfaction.
Why Choose SELF?
Financial inclusion – SELF approves loans based on the applicant’s ability to pay, not credit scores, so we can help homeowners with poor credit and even no credit. Many of our clients have no financing options at all or must rely on predatory lenders.
Affordable interest rates – SELF has multiple lending programs with interest rates starting as low as 5% fixed. All of our lending programs are well below market rate for unsecured loans. SELF clients often save 10-20% on their interest rates.
Motivated my mission – As a mission-driven lender, SELF focuses on the clients and their welfare and builds loans around the applicant(s)’ ability to pay.
Expertise in green market - SELF specializes in sustainable home renovation projects and can assist homeowners with favorable financing, energy expertise, and building science. SELF also prescreens contractors and reviews quotes to prevent price gouging.
Customer service - SELF offers a high-touch customer service model, which clients very much appreciate. We communicate frequently, clearly, and transparently with clients and also provide project management from start to finish.
The SELF team can help you secure a low-cost loan, identify quality contractors, and assist you with energy expertise and building science. To learn more about SELF ( Solar Energy Loan Fund) https://solarenergyloanfund.org.