A Lee County program which helps low-income, rural Iowans get into new cars is being expanded into seven more counties. The Cars at Affordable Rates, or “CAR” Program, will soon be available in other parts of the state.Siri Granberg , the project coordinator for CAR through the Iowa Department of Human Resources, says the D-H-S has gotten a federal grant of nearly 300-thousand dollars to expand cars from the single southeastern Iowa county into a total of eight counties. Granberg says people who apply for the new car loans first have to prove they can handle the loans.Financial classes will help people learn how to apply for the loan and how to manage the expense. They also have to learn about insuring the vehicle, basic car repair and maintenance. Only after passing the classes can they become eligible for the loans. Granberg sees the CAR program going statewide in the years ahead. She says there may be less of a need for this program in urban counties. She says they want to see how the program works first before expanding.The seven new counties should have the CAR loans available within the next few months. They are: Allamakee, Buchanan, Clayton, Des Moines, Grundy, Howard and Winneshiek.
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