SparkPoint at Cottages of Hope, a UWNU partner, helps people learn financial skills that lead to a brighter future for the clients and their families. Here's Colleen's story:
"After I worked with SparkPoint this past year and learned how to use credit, something I had not known about before, I obtained a secured credit card, which I have been paying off with every paycheck. Managing my credit card this way allows my credit score to go up. Since my bills are pretty much the same every month, I have paid my rent every month on the 1st, which is a great feeling.
Recently my car broke down and was almost $800 to repair. SparkPoint had taught me that in an emergency it is okay to go above 30% of my limit, as long as I do my best to pay it off quickly. I put half of the bill on that card, and I paid off the rest with my savings account. In the past, that bill would have been out of reach for me!
I have also started teaching my younger daughter how to use credit and I added her as an authorized user to one card, so that she has a card with her name on it. She can only spend up to $50 at a time and then pays me out of her baby-sitting money. I can view the account online and show her how to make payments. She said she feels good learning how to use her money and build credit. She also said that she feels good that I trust her (a teen) with a credit card.
I taught my oldest daughter some of these tips and she has now received a secured card and is using it the same way. She and her husband bought a new house!
Thank you for teaching me these things. It has a made a huge difference for me and my girls!"