Job Access Loan (JAL)

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If you need financial help to keep or get a job, a Job Access Loan (JAL) might be for you. 

A JAL is a no-interest loan of up to $1,600. There is no credit check or bank involved with a JAL. It can be paid back over 12 months with a combination of community service and cash.

A JAL can be used to help you keep or get a job. Examples of JAL uses are:

  • Car repairs;
  • Car loans;
  • Car insurance;
  • Job clothes and uniforms;
  • Interview clothes;
  • Computer and equipment for remote work;
  • Tools and supplies (work boots, cleaning supplies, manufacturing, or construction equipment, etc.);
  • Housing or moving needs to keep or get a job; and
  • Fees, fines, or car insurance to get a driver’s license.
Do I qualify?

To receive a loan, you must have a job or be seeking work and also be:

  • Be a parent with a minor child, with or without custody;
  • Be over 18 years old;
  • Be a Wisconsin resident and U.S. citizen or qualified noncitizen;
  • Cooperate with child support, unless being in contact with the second parent puts you or your children's safety at risk (See the Child Support Cooperation and Good Cause Publication) ; and
  • Have income at or below 115% of the Federal Poverty Level with total assets not over $2,500.

Your local W-2 agency is here to answer questions you have and help determine if you are eligible. Find your local W-2 agency’s contact on the Find Your Local W-2 Agency page.

How do I apply?

You can start an application for a JAL online using the ACCESS website. Once you submit your information, a W-2 agency will contact you to complete your application.

To apply for a JAL in person, please visit the Find Your Local W-2 Agency page for your local agency contact information.

How do I repay my loan?

You have 12 months to repay your loan. Depending on your situation, the repayment period can be extended an extra 12 months, for a total of 24 months.

Up to 75% of your loan can be repaid in community service activities. Volunteer work could be through a:

  • Food pantry;
  • Senior meal site;
  • Habitat for Humanity;
  • Blood drive organization;
  • Community garden;
  • School; or
  • Church.

A minimum of 25% of the loan must be repaid in cash. There is no interest added when you repay your loan.

You are encouraged to set up payments through the State's free online payment system. 

How often can I get a JAL?

You may have multiple JALs at one time, but your total loan amount cannot be more than $1,600.

What are my options if I am denied?

You have the right to request a Fact Finding review if you disagree with the W-2 agency’s eligibility decision. To start this process, contact your agency to let them know you want a Fact Finding Review.

You can also contact the DCF W-2 Customer Service Line at 855-757-4539 to talk to a DCF staff member about your experience with the JAL program. We appreciate all feedback and will try our best to provide the help you need.

More Resources:

DCF can help you! Please see additional services available below.

Emergency Assistance

Financial help for an emergency.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 

Services for job seekers.

Energy Assistance

Help for home and utility expenses.

Women, Infants, and Children

Food benefits, nutritional education, and breastfeeding support.