Do you need licensing, certification or training to get back in your profession, a related field or pursue a new career in Canada?

ACCESS Community Capital Fund can help you, even if your credit history isn’t great. ACCESS is a Canadian registered charity that helps people facing financial barriers in the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton (GTHA) obtain low-interest loans for small business and professional development.

Newcomers/immigrants with credentials obtained outside Canada are eligible for loans of up to $15,000 to pay for career-related expenses to get back in their original profession, a related field or pursue a new career in Canada.

Some of the loan details

  • Affordable and low-interest rate (Prime + 1.90%)
  • Up to four (4) years to repay
  • Loans are disbursed, administered and repaid through Alterna Savings & Credit Union
  • Repayment starts 30 days after getting the loan. Structured to make payments affordable, e.g. interest-only payments while completing licensing or training and during a period of looking for employment

The loan can be used to cover career-related expenses:

  • Licensing and certification costs
  • Courses and exams
  • Qualification and credential assessments
  • Professional accreditation, association and membership fees
  • Bridge training
  • Books and other course materials
  • Living and travel allowances associated with certification or training

Eligibility

  • Must be 18 years of age or older;
  • Must have been in Canada for fewer than 10 years;
  • Must be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee, with the legal right to work in Canada;
  • Must live within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA);
  • Must be low-income (based on Statistics Canada’s household Low-Income Measures thresholds);
  • Must be in good standing with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
    Up to date on your taxes and not owing
    OR
    Have a payment plan in place with CRA and have made at least 3 consecutive monthly payments;
  • Must meet the criteria for low-income based on the Low-Income Measures thresholds (based on Notice of Assessment from CRA);
  • Must not be in active bankruptcy or consumer proposal Or have been discharged for at least six months (we will need to see discharge papers)
  • Completed application and necessary supporting documents.

Newcomers without established credit or haven’t filed taxes yet in Canada are eligible to apply. Loans will help establish or build credit through Equifax and TransUnion.

All types of professions are eligible:

  • Lawyers;
  • Teachers (K-12);
  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists;
  • Architects, engineers, carpenters; welders; electricians (industrial and construction); heavy duty equipment technicians; heavy equipment operators; dentists; engineering technicians;
  • Licensed practical nurses; dentists, dental hygienists, medical radiation technologists; physicians; medical laboratory technologists; occupational therapists; pharmacists; physiotherapists; registered nurses, midwives, psychologists
  • Financial auditors and accountants, including chartered accountants, certified general accountants and certified management accountants;
  • and many more!

Applications are assessed using a character-based model which:

  • Does not only use your credit history and score as the deciding factor
  • Takes into account your financial need
  • Considers your career development plan