Stephen R. contacted Apprisen in September of 2012. He needed help getting his finances in order so he could apply for a Habitat for Humanity house for himself and his teenage son. At the time, Apprisen had just launched a new long-term coaching program, MyCoach, funded through a grant from Chase Card Services. In that program, Apprisen worked with Stephen to help him identify and achieve his goal of living on a realistic budget, cleaning up his credit report, and setting financial goals.
Stephen’s background included homelessness, unemployment, and a time period when he was not concerned with his financial issues. Everything went past due. Once he became employed, he obtained an apartment, and was awarded custody of his teenage son. Now Stephen wanted to provide a stable environment and improve his financial situation not only for himself but also for his son. His first long term goal was to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity house for the two of them.
During the first meeting in September 2012, the Apprisen counselor reviewed his current budget, expenses, and debt, as well as the importance of getting his student loans out of default. They also discussed the importance of starting an emergency savings account for unexpected expenses and explored different types of retirement accounts.
By the second session in November 2012, Stephen was able to get on a payment plan for his student loans. He had also started making payments on two collections accounts. The counselor reassessed the budget and advised Stephen that he could adjust his monthly budget at any time on his own in order to meet his long and short term goals.
In February 2013, during his third session, Stephen reported that he had been building his savings account. Stephen explored using his tax return to pay off his two collections accounts and planned to use any remaining money to pay off his delinquent student loan balance. The counselor discussed the importance of having renter’s insurance, sharing financial responsibility with his son, and utilizing local financial education resources. Soon after, Stephen and his son attended a local financial education class for students that taught how to avoid financial pitfalls of credit and the importance of establishing a savings account.
By the fourth and fifth sessions, August 2013 and February 2014, Stephen had his student loans out of default, paid off both collections accounts, purchased renter’s insurance, paid off his car, raised his credit score by more than 100 points, and had $2,100.00 in his savings account. In addition to these outstanding accomplishments, the best news was that he reached his goal of being able to apply for a Habitat for Humanity house.
During Stephen’s final coaching session in April 2014, he shared that he was chosen to receive the Habitat for Humanity house. Since then, Stephen has worked to complete his required equity hours.
Stephen is a remarkable man. In many respects, he reflects the consumer that Apprisen can help – someone working on steps to save more and rebuild credit. Stephen’s success shows that innovative programs from Apprisen can provide impressive results and lead to measurable long standing results for the clients we serve.