|How are ICS loans making a difference?
Since February of this year, ICS has served over 75 individuals and families in the Portland Metro region with financial education services and small-dollar loans (54 loans totaling over $25,000). We are beginning to see how our products and services are helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Our customers use their loans for a variety of household and credit building purposes, for example...
- ...at least 20 of our clients have used their loans to catch up on back rent and utility bills
- ...at least 6 of our clients have used their loans to pay off high cost debt such as payday loans
- ...at least 2 of our clients have used their loans to make vehicle repairs in order to maintain job stability
- ...at least 2 of our clients have used their loans to pay off back taxes in order to avoid garnishment.
In addition to helping our clients manage their short-term financial needs, our loans are helping our clients decrease their money-related stress and begin to think about long-term goals. At the time of taking out their loans...
- ...at least 17 of our clients have used their loans to build credit to achieve future goals.
- ...over 90% of our clients report that they are taking steps to achieve a long-term goal
- ...over 65% of our clients report that they are taking steps to reduce stress about money in a way that has had a positive impact on their lives.
From one of our clients: "[Since I began working with Innovative Changes] I am not so stressed out about all the bills and debt that I owe. I can look at it a little more positively and figure out how to do it. " -F.A.
Partner Profile: Bradley Angle House
Bradley Angle House has been
working as a Portland-area service provider since 1975 to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence
options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with
communities to create social change. Recognizing the need to
identify ways in which access to economic resources and financial education/planning
can help support survivors -- and that no other agency was working with clients
to help them plan for and realize a stable, secure financial future -- Bradley
Angle House established an Economic Empowerment Program called Making Cents over
a year ago. The program engages Financial Planners and community partners, like Innovative Changes, who
offer expertise and services critical to helping survivors pursue financial
For survivors of domestic and sexual
violence, access to assets and other financial resources is essential.
Those who are financially dependent on abusers have fewer resources for
sustained escape. Equally important is the confidence in one's ability to
manage money and plan for a stable financial future. According
to a report by Oregon's Department of Human Services' Children, domestic violence programs answered 165,991
calls to their help lines across the state in 2009. Fifty percent of those seeking shelter were fleeing
violence perpetrated by both current and former spouses, live-in partners and
Innovative Changes has
participated as a resource in three Making Cents graduations this year. As a result, Making Cents graduates have accessed ICS services including ongoing financial coaching, loans to catch up on household bills and referrals to affordable bank accounts. We continue to coordinate with BAH to help survivors of domestic and sexual
violence overcome financial obstacles in pursuit of better lives for themselves
and their children.
|Announcing our Summer workshop schedule!
ICS is pleased to offer Financial Household Stability, a four-part series of interactive workshops. Each of the four workshops- Making Ends Meet; Budgeting and Saving; Hands-On Banking; and Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit- can be taken on their own, or as part of the full sequence.
Download a flyer and course schedule here.
As the 2010 fiscal year wound down last month, we solicited feedback from our clients, partners and other stakeholders to inform how to improve our products and services to meet the needs of the communities that we serve.
Stay tuned for the results of our summer planning sessions! In August and September, we will be unveiling some changes to our existing services, as well as possibly piloting a new loan product!
Thank you to everyone who contributed thoughts and suggestions about Innovative Changes!