FAQs About our Loans
Whether you’re a prospective client, a partner, or a supporter, find out more about our loan program here.
What can a Windmill loan be used for?
Windmill loans may be used to fund your Career Success Plan, which could include:
- Education and training programs of two years or less, including courses to help you advance your career
- Fees for licensing and qualifying exams
- Living allowance to support you during your training, licensing, or relocation
- Credentials assessments, like ones from WES, ICAS, IQAS, or MIFI
- English or French language training
- Relocation costs for employment
- Travel expenses to take courses or exams not available in your area
- Books, course materials, and work equipment
- Professional association fees
Note that we cannot provide loans for business start-up costs.
What is microlending?
Microlending is a form of financing that issues smaller loans to individuals who may not otherwise qualify for credit products offered by larger financial institutions. Windmill provides microloans to individuals who require licensing, training or relocation to achieve their career goals in Canada. We lend to clients who may not have much credit history in Canada or otherwise be deemed high risk by banks and therefore be faced with prohibitive interest rates. We offer newcomer-friendly repayment terms as well as other add-on services like coaching and a mentorship program to help clients succeed in their goals. Gain a better understanding of how an affordable career loan can help you. Explore Windmill’s Skilled Immigrant Career Success Guide.
Who is eligible for a Windmill loan?
To be eligible for a Windmill loan, you must be an immigrant and an internationally-trained individual living in Canada on a permanent status. Internationally-trained individuals must have completed post-secondary education outside of Canada and/or have a minimum of one year of post-secondary work experience before coming to Canada.
Whether you intend to work in the same field you trained in outside of Canada, or you wish to apply your transferable skills to a new career, you must demonstrate that you have a Career Success Plan that requires funding. You must not have an undischarged bankruptcy or a consumer proposal that has been active for less than 6 months. You can check your eligibility by doing our two-minute eligibility quiz.
What immigration statuses are considered permanent?
To be eligible for a Windmill loan, you must be a Permanent Resident, Convention Refugee, Protected Person, Canadian Citizen, Provincial Nominee or Temporary Foreign Worker with an open work permit*.
Unfortunately, you are not eligible for a loan with us if you are an international student, live-in caregiver or refugee claimant.
* For Quebec residents who need funds for credential recognition only. Different loan terms apply.
Am I eligible for a loan if I am already working in my field?
Yes, but we would need to see that you are either underemployed (working at a level much lower than someone with your education or experience should be), or that your proposed Career Success Plan will give you a competitive edge in the labour market. You are also able to apply for a loan to pursue a career change to a field where you can use your transferable skills.
How can a Windmill loan help me balance my studies with my work and family responsibilities?
Loans may be used to help pay for short-term living expenses, i.e if you need to quit your job or reduce your hours at work while you are attending school or studying for exams. Applications for living allowance are considered on a case-by-case basis.
How much may I borrow?
You may borrow up to $15,000 to fund your Career Success Plan.
What is the interest rate?
The interest rate varies depending on the province in which you live. Our loans are a variable interest rate product, meaning that as the prime rate increases or decreases, the interest on your loan increases or decreases accordingly. We are proud we have been able to keep the interest rate low. It is not uncommon for microloan programs to charge up to 10% above prime.
- British Columbia: Prime + 0 % interest
- Quebec: Prime + 1% interest
- Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick): Prime + 0% interest
- Rest of Canada: Prime + 1.5% interest
Why does Windmill charge interest?
The interest we charge helps replenish the loan fund and pays for the interest and bank charges that we have to pay. We have been able to keep payments of principal and interest within the loan fund, helping to ensure the sustainability of the loan fund. As a registered not-for-profit, Windmill does not make any money from the loans. Future clients will benefit from the interest paid by today’s clients.
Still have questions? Our team would be happy to answer your questions and help you get started in your application. Contact us here.
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