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Windmill Microlending was established in 2005. They are a national charity in Canada that provides professional development loans to immigrants and refugees with eligible skills. They are funded by the public and private sectors. Their microloans are meant to help clients cover the costs of training, career development, and accreditation on their way to prosperity.
Since its creation, Windmill has helped contribute to Canada’s social and economic success by helping newcomers integrate into the workforce.
What Does Windmill Microlending Offer?
New Canadians often have trouble acquiring mainstream credit because they lack a credit history or proper income. Luckily, Windmill provides microloans of up to $15,000 to help skilled immigrants and refugees achieve their career goals. On average, their clients more than triple their incomes and help lower the unemployment rate in Canada.
Windmill Microlending also provides:
- Mentorship programs
- Success coaching for clients
- Financial planning and budgeting tools
- Career development resources
Windmill loans can be used to pay for expenses that advance your career, such as:
- Education and training (for programs of 2 years or less)
- Qualifying and licensing exam fees
- Credentials assessments from facilities like WES, ICAS, IQAS and MIFI
- Books, course materials, and equipment
- Living allowance during training, licensing, or relocation
- Language training costs (English and French)
- Fees due to professional association
- Travel or relocation costs for employment, courses, and exams in other areas
Who Is Eligible For A Windmill Microlending Loan?
While over 95% of immigrants are approved for Windlill loans, there are still a few things you’ll need to become eligible, including the criteria below.
Immigration Status Requirements
For starters, you must live in Canada to apply for a Windmill loan. This means you must be a newcomer or immigrant in Canada to apply for this loan. You’ll also need to hold one of the following immigration statuses:
- Permanent Residency
- Canadian Citizen
- Protected Person
- Convention refugee
- Provincial Nominee
- Temporary foreign worker (with an open work permit)
Keep in mind that you cannot become eligible for a Windmill microloan if you are an international student, refugee claimant, or live-in caregiver. In addition, Quebec residents can only acquire Windmill funds for the purpose of credential recognition.
There are a few educational and employment requirements you need to meet to be eligible for the Windmill loan. For one, only internationally-trained newcomers can apply. Similarly, you must have:
- Completed post-secondary studies internationally
- Have at least 1 year of post-secondary work experience before moving to Canada
- Requires licensing, training, or relocation to achieve success in your career
You must also have costs related to a Career Success Plan to achieve your professional goals, like credentials assessments, exam fees, study programs that are under 2 years, or relocation for employment. Windmill does not offer loans that cover business start-up costs.
If you’ve filed for bankruptcy in Canada, your case needs to be discharged before you can apply or qualify for a Windmill microloan. Basically, Windmill cannot consider your application until you’re released from all legal obligations to repay any associated debts.
If you’re involved in a debt management plan or consumer proposal. You can be eligible for a Windmill loan once you have successfully made 6 months of consistent payments toward your program. Unless your DMP has a clause that prevents you from taking on other debts while you’re in it
You must also be living in Canada to apply for a Windmill loan. Windmill Microlending operates nationally and serves clients in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.
What Do You Need To Apply For A Windmill Microlending Loan?
To apply for a Windmill microloan, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
- Your resume/CV
- A copy of your immigration status document (PR card, COPR, etc.)
- Government-issued photo identification (if status document has no photo)
- Proof of your Canadian address (if government photo ID doesn’t show it)
- Proof of your financial status (paystubs, social insurance confirmation, etc.)
- A void cheque or Direct Deposit Form (available through your financial institution)
- Your diplomas (in French or English)
- OR, your credential evaluation from WES, ICAS, IQAS, MIFI, etc.
- Your letter of acceptance into an eligible program (if applicable)
- OR, Any other documents that explain your Career Success Plan
How To Apply For A Windmill MicroLending Loan
Once you have your documents in order, take these steps to apply for a Windmill loan:
Step 1 – Take The Eligibility Quiz
The first step is to take a short quiz that tells you whether you’re eligible for a Windmill microloan. If you don’t pass this quiz, it’s a good idea to speak with a Windmill representative. They can help you figure out how to meet the eligibility requirements.
Step 2 – Create An Account & Fill Out An Application
If you are eligible for a loan, the next step is to create an account using Windmill’s application portal. As long as you have the necessary documents ready for inspection, you can expect the application to take 30 to 45 minutes.
Step 3 – Take The Client Success Assessment
Once Windmill receives your application, they’ll review it. They will then contact you by email or phone if they need more information. If not, you should get an email with instructions to finish their online Client Success Assessment. Windmill can then use that assessment to figure out which resources are the right fit for your needs.
Step 4 – Take The Employability Assessment
If you don’t hear from Windmill within a few days of submitting your application, it may be because the email went to your junk folder. So be sure to check your junk or spam folder to see if the Client Success Assessment email went there instead.
After you complete that step, Windmill will use your information to determine how employable you are, then invite you to book a Success Coaching session online.
Step 5 – Get A Coaching Session & Success Coach
Spots fill up fast, so make sure to book your coaching session right away. Coaching sessions take an hour to complete. During this, your employability assessment, Career Success Plan, and financial situation will be reviewed thoroughly.
Your application will be sent to Windmill’s Loan Review Committee. You’ll receive a decision within seven business days of your coaching session.
Step 6 – Wait For Loan Approval From Windmill Microlending
Once your microloan is approved, you will work with Windmill’s Loan Management Team. You’ll need to sign any necessary documents. And within a few business days, the funds will be deposited into your chosen account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can get a Windmill loan?
How much does a Windmill loan cost?
How much money can you borrow?
Need A Loan To Help Pay For Your Career Path In Canada?
If you’re an immigrant or refugee with the skills necessary to boost Canada’s economy, then a Windmill microloan might be the perfect financial product for you. Check out the Windmill Microlending website or contact their customer service department toll-free at 1-855-423-2262 (or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about their solutions.