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Goodwill Resident Get Credit Report Check

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Many people who seek the help of Goodwill Family Center in Evansville are aware that they are in bad financial shape. However, they may not know how bad they are doing financially. That is why staff members help clients check their credit report so they would know where to start rebuilding their finances.

Goodwill Resident Get Credit Report Check Michelle Smith, who directs the transitional housing facility, notes that many of the residents have been struggling for quite a while. However, sometimes, they are not aware of or have forgotten some of debts they have made. Finance advisers say in such cases, it becomes even more important to do a credit report check. They add that there is a need for families to be guided on how they can get their free credit report so they could assess how well, or how bad, they are doing financially.

Goodwill, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps families, especially those with children, become self-sufficient once more. The center also has thrift stores and provides jobs for people with disabilities.

As a center for self-development, it houses 55 to 65 adults and children every year. That is equivalent to housing eight to ten families at a time. Smith says residents can stay as long as two years, but they are encouraged to rebuild their lives as soon as possible. She explains that Goodwill is more of a learning environment than a center. One of the first steps that families do to regain self-sufficiency is by requesting for a credit report from the three major bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

The Goodwill staff teaches residents money management, parenting, and work skills. Moreover, they help families find the root cause for their homelessness so they can avoid falling into the same trouble once they get out of the center.

People who join this program are required to allocate 20 percent of their paycheck towards paying their debts, another 20 percent for savings, and ten percent as a fee for the program. Smith observed that such a plan could be hard to stick to, especially for those who are only earning minimum wage.

However, Smith also notes that majority of the residents who stick to the program is able to find their own place. Last year, 75 percent of program participants moved into their own permanent homes.

After getting out of the center, staff members advise families to keep a closer track of their credit report so they will avoid spending more than they earn.

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