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My sister runs a charity organization that produces wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

We are working on a website for her organization and I am looking for a word that implies 'free loan'.

Her charity lends wigs to women in a formal way - borrowers need to fill out an application and, if accepted, sign a legally binding contract outlining borrower's obligations, such as returning the wig when their contract is due, keeping it in mint condition, etc. However it's all free - they won't pay a cent for it (unless they damage the wig).

Whenever someone says 'loan', I always think of a 'bank loan' or something of the sort.

What do you call a formal-but-free loan?

  • no-charge lending [of wigs]. You don't want loans here: lending is the word. to lend wigs to women free of charge. free-of-charge wig lending. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 19:44
  • How about "free rental of wigs"? But I suggest a returnable deposit to cover loss or damage. – Weather Vane Apr 14 '18 at 20:04
  • @Weather Vane It isn't a rental. A rental means you pay. Car rental, house rental=you pay for those. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 21:57
  • You could call it Wiglets, which is neat, sounds like a pun on twiglets and suggests borrowing. – Ronald Sole Apr 14 '18 at 21:57
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    Whether the process attracts interest or other charges doesn't really change the fact that it's a loan. OP's context is an unusual one, but essentially the same thing happens in relation to books managed by public ("lending") libraries. In which context it's perfectly natural to say, for example, That book on the coffee table isn't actually mine. It's on loan from the library. I don't hear people saying You can borrow a copy from the library, though. You can get it at / take it out from the library seem more natural to me. – FumbleFingers Apr 14 '18 at 22:38
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Lend is a good term that might suggest an interest-free loan.

verb (past and past participle lent) [with object]

grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it shall be returned: Stewart asked me to lend him my car | the pictures were lent to each museum in turn.
Oxford Dictionaries

  • Of course, one can "lend at x% interest". – WhatRoughBeast Feb 15 at 0:53

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