12 months ago, Englewood resident Nigel Williams had a miserable credit rating of 0. He could not find a job, buy a home or get a car.
He had moved to Chicago two years ago from Jamaica. He had never used credit card in the past - he didn't need to - he could use cash to pay for everything, including bills, taxes and food for his family. But once he came to America, he quickly learned that bank account and a good credit score is a must have.
Thanks to the Center for Working Families at Kennedy-King College, Williams' credit score is now above 700. His old habbits are gone - now he has four bank accounts and a credit card with a $5,000 limit.
"In about 10 months I had a credit score above average USA citizen. And I will keep it that way!", he said. "If everything will work out, we will buy a house in the next year".
"Every year, Chicago's Center for Working Families helps dozens of residents establish and boost their credit scores. Mr. Williams is just one of our success stories", said Vicent Perry , a financial coach at the center.
How do they do it?
Williams was given a small $300 loan from the Center. He paid on-time fees of $27 every month. For every payment he made, center set aside $25. Once he paid off the loan, the money accumulated by Center was used to help secure a new credit card.
Every payment was reported to the credit bureaus, therefore it was easy enough for Williams to establish positive lines of credit and a good credit history. His credit score went from 0 in January 2013, to 660 in July and 701 in January 2014.
Are you inspired? When did you check your credit last time? Visit the Center for Working Families in Chicago and ask for a Twin Accounts Program.