Innovative Change$ Email Header
Innovative Change$ Email Newsletter
News from Innovative Changes


At Innovative Changes we are thrilled to be entering our second full year of operations with a bang. Although the holiday season can bring financial challenges, and Oregon's economy continues to lag, many of our clients are doing great as we enter 2011. Click here to read an interview with Bill L. to learn about how his improved credit is impacting his life positively!


In spite of Innovative Changes' successes in 2010, we are cognizant of the hard work ahead as we embark on this New Year. We will continue to provide critical financial resources including our credit building and responsible payday loan alternatives to those served by our growing network of partners (click here to read about our partnership with Raphael House). We will also conduct more of our four-part Household Financial Stability workshops across the Portland Metropolitan area, including Spanish language options in partnership with Hacienda CDC (click here for a link to our Winter 2011 class and seminar schedule), and are excited to recommence our monthly seminar series in February with a workshopon Student Loan Consolidation and Repayment (click here for more information). 

Stay tuned in the coming months as we also create more opportunities to roll out our program statewide in our effort to promote the financial capability of all Oregonians.


Happy reading and happy New Year!


Sarah Chenven
Program Director

Bill's Story


Bill L. found his way to Innovative Changes through the Housing Authority of Portland's (HAP) GOALS Program. He couldn't even qualify for a cell phone because he had no credit history, but had aspirations of buying a house someday. The GOALS Program, which helps HAP residents set a solid pathway towards financial independence through escrow accounts, job training, homeownership preparation and more, referred Bill to IC$ so that he could start building his credit and one day eventually apply for a home mortgage.


When Bill first enrolled in IC$' Credit Builder Program he had insufficient credit history, and thus no credit score.  Now after six months of reporting Bill's Credit Builder loan to two of the three main credit bureaus through IC$' partnership with the Credit Builder's Alliance, Bill's credit score is in the 600s and he has qualified for an unsecured credit card with [one of IC$' banking partners] Unitus Community Credit Union. "Now I have two lines open that are building my credit," Bill explains.


Partner Highlight: Raphael House     Raphael

Raphael House imageThe Raphael House, a "multi-faceted domestic violence agency dedicated to ending intimate partner violence for good," became a partner of Innovative Changes this past summer and since has referred several clients to IC$.

Emily Duke, Raphael House's Employment Access Coordinator and Advocacy Center Coordinator (what a mouthful!), manages their Advocacy Center which offers everything from support groups to counseling to financial planning and job coaching. She also case manages and coordinates the Bilingual Employment Access Program through which Raphael House offers self-sufficiency, employment, and microenterprise support to survivors in Multnomah County.  


Domestic violence is often a major barrier to financial independence. Emily reflects that "desperation on many levels can drive some of our clients to seek or accept financial support from payday lenders, sex work/prostitution, drugs, theft, or simply to continue running from creditors and remaining homeless."


Upcoming Seminar: Student Loan Consolidation and Repayment               SLs

Money tree

As part of our ongoing monthly series covering special topics of interest to clients, Innovative Changes is excited to announce it's February seminar: Student Loan Consolidation and Repayment.


In this workshop participants will learn how to take an inventory of outstanding student loans, keep student loans in good standing, and create a manageable plan for repayment.  Other topics of interest will include: the consequences of student loan default, how to rehabilitate student loans that are in default, the Income Based Repayment plan and its benefits, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

When: Tuesday, February 8th 2011, 4:30-6pm

Where:  New Columbia Opportunity Center, 4610 N Trenton, Portland

To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-943-5620/


The seminar is $5 and fee waivers are available for those who qualify. Seminars are open to all. For more information or to suggest a topic, contact Talia (information above).


To find out about our upcoming Financial Household Stability workshops visit our website for details on class topics, locations and registration.

You Can Help!

Innovative Changes is able to keep its rates low because of the donations it receives from those who care about Oregonians. Please help us continue to meet our clients' needs by making a generous donation today.
  • $25 allows an individual to attend our 4-part Household Stability financial education class on cash flow planning, budgeting, saving, banking, and credit.
  • $100 keeps a family warm this winter by covering their heating bill.
  • $150 covers 6 months of intensive individual financial coaching for 1 family.
  • $500 helps a family make car repairs to commute to work.
  • $1,000 keeps a family facing eviction housed.
Your gift will make a difference. Thank you from all of us at Innovative Changes for your generosity this holiday season.

Make a Donation button

In This Issue
Bill's Story
Partner Highlight: Raphael House
Upcoming Seminar: Student Loan Consolidation and Repayment
You Can Help!
Quick Stats
Quick Stats
As of 12/9/2010



139, averaging $461.87 for a total of $64,200

Revolved amount

Repaid loans

Financial education clients


Read the full list of our partners >

Make a Donation button
Quick Links

Our Mission
Innovative Changes exists to help low-income individuals and families, and those who otherwise lack adequate access to capital and/or financial services, manage short-term financial needs in order to achieve and maintain household stability.