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Innovative Connections
Resource Toolkit for April 2011
In This Issue
Tip of the Month: Catch Your Spending Leaks
Upcoming Financial Education
Health Highlight: The Portland Wellness Tour
April is National Financial Literacy Month
Article Headline
For Our Borrowers
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
Financial Household Stability Workshops


*Day 2: Saturday, April 23 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm


3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center, Portland

 *For more info or to register go here


The Legal Side of Aging: Are Your Documents in Place?

*Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 1:00 - 2:30pm at Neighborhood House, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR 97219, 503.244.5204



Avoiding Investment Fraud and Identity Theft

*Tuesday, April 26, 6:30-7:30 pm., Albina Library, 3605 N.E. 15th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212, 503.988.5362 


Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

*Wednesday, May 04,

6:30 - 8pm, at Capitol Hill Library, 

10723 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR 97219, 503.988.5385


New Banking Regulations and How They Impact You! 

*June 7th, 5-6pm, 3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center, Portland

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Our Saving, Investing and Risk Management Seminar this month got us thinking a lot about insurance as a key tool towards achieving financial stability. This is something that we haven't mentioned as much in our workshops, but is crucial for long-term planning. While the extra cost of paying an insurance company can seem like a nuisance (I'm healthy- why am I paying now?), insurance is a great way minimize the cost of unexpected expenses. In this issue of Innovative Connections we hope to address ideas for risk management. 


Also, in case you haven't heard, April is National Financial Literacy Month. Now, this is a month that we can get behind! With lots of financial education going on through IC$, and around town through other partners, we encourage you to take advantage of these free or low cost opportunities! 


Happy reading,

Innovative Changes

Tip of the Month: Better Credit Means Lower Insurance Rates!tipofthemonth


* Send us your tips! Each month we will collect your innovative money management tips -- these could be about resourceful ways you've saved money, thrifty activities you enjoy, helpful 
insights into living on a tight budget, etc. We will enter these tips into a pool and if selected, your tip will be featured in the next Innovative Connections and you will win a $20.00 Fred Meyer gift card.* 

carSave money by letting your insurance company know if your credit score has improved!
Auto insurance and homeowner's premiums are based on many factors such as where you live, the cost to replace your home, what kind of car you have, etc. Your credit score is also a factor in assessing your insurance premiums. Insurance companies cannot change your rate if your credit score goes down, but they can if it goes up. If your credit has gotten better lately, you have the right once a year to request that your insurance company re-check your credit- this may then qualify you for a lower rate and save you money in the long run! Last year Oregonians saved a total of around $800,000!

 Upcoming Financial Education: fined


April has been a busy month. We taught Parts 1 & 2 of our Financial Household Stability classes, but Parts 3 &4 are coming up this weekend, and there are still spots left (see info below)


We learned a lot at the Saving, Investing and Risk Management on budgeting, saving, the benefits of insurance and rules of thumb for investing and preparing for a sound financial future. Thanks Chris Kiichle! 


We will be holding our next seminar on June 7th from 5-6pm on New Banking Regulations and How They Impact You! Stay tuned for more information on this exciting upcoming seminar. 


Our spring financial education schedule is as follows:


appleFinancial Household Stability Workshops: 


 Day 2: Saturday, April 23 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm

* For more information on our class series or to register, visit our website.


*This seminar is part of our ongoing monthly seminar series covering special topics of interest to our clients. If you would like to suggest or teach a future seminar or find out more information about our education programs, contact Talia (information below).  


Our classes and seminar will be held at our new location:  

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center, Portland


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


The classes and the seminar are $5 each. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. 


Innovative Advice with Savvy Saveradvice


* Every month we answer a question or give advice based on a scenario that someone sends us. If you would like financial advice on something you're facing in your life, email Talia at or call her at 503.943.5620. All situations and questions will be kept anonymous.* 

Dear Savvy Saver,


I am finally at a point where I have some extra money left over from month to month. I want to use this money to make myself feel more secure in the future, but am not sure what the best step to take would be.  I am thinking of setting up a savings account, but then again the only insurance I have at the moment is car insurance. I am a single parent living in a rented house with my two kids. Would it be smarter to purchase other types of insurance instead of setting it aside for savings?




Dear Set-to-Save,


This is a hard decision. A couple weeks ago, Chris Kiichle of Pacific Capital Resource Group Inc, came and did a presentation at Innovative Changes on this very topic, so I feel prepared to pass on some of what I learned recently.


Savings is great because every little bit that you can put aside from month to month will make a difference, and, you can use this savings for any unexpected expense that arises. However, by shifting some of your risk to a third party, insurance could save you a lot of money in the long run if any big unexpected expense comes up in the future. If possible it's good to have a little of both: emergency reserves for short term expenses that don't fit into your budget and then some forms of insurance that can protect and preserve your life style if anything happens to you or your children.


There are many types of insurance beside the auto insurance that you already have such as medical, homeowners, life, disability income, renters, umbrella, long-term care. You should weigh the price of insurance protection against the potential benefits to you. For example, if you work from home and have a lot of valuable possession in your home, renters insurance may be worth it. If you don't have medical insurance, this could be key to keeping  your family healthy and avoiding large hospital bills in the long run.

Once you have established some savings and means of risk management (ie insurance), then it is time to think about longer-term savings and asset building (buying a house). So, you are definitely thinking on the right track-- it's up to you to prioritize how to distribute your extra monthly income!


For more information about looking for insurance and the pros and cons of different types of insurance, visit the 360 degrees of Financial Literacy website. Good luck!


Savvy Saver


April is National Financial Literacy Month!specialmonth


Last year in the beginning of April, President Obama declared the month to be Financial Literacy Month. In a press release he stated:

Obama"While our Government has a critical role to play in protecting consumers and promoting financial literacy, we are each responsible for understanding basic concepts:  how to balance a checkbook, save for a child's education, steer clear of deceptive financial products and practices, plan for retirement, and avoid accumulating excessive debts...During National Financial Literacy Month, we recommit to teaching ourselves and our children about the basics of financial education."

IC$ is pleased to participate in Financial Literacy Month by continuing to offer seminars, classes and workshops that prepare families to manage their finances in an informed and strategic way. If you would like to get involved in our education program by suggesting or teaching, a seminar topic, please contact


In addition to the IC$ classes mentioned above, here are some great financial literacy opportunities with Multnomah Library, Neighborhood House and Richard B. Schneider Law Offices.


The Legal Side of Aging: Are Your Documents in Place?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM at Neighborhood House, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR 97219, 503.244.5204

Rules and regulations seem to dominate our existence and this applies to Estate Planning as well.  How valid are your documents, how often should they be updated, and what is now required to protect you and family members?  A comprehensive review of essential state and federal documents will be discussed during this free class to help you gain control.


Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
Wednesday, May 04, 2011, 6:30 PM - 08:00PM, at Capitol Hill Library, 
10723 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR 97219, 503.988.5385

Learn the basics of wills, living trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives with attorney and author Richard Schneider. Have your questions answered! Visit for directions and additional information. No registration is required.


For  more information about upcoming seminars on estate planning and wills visit:



Our New Office and Bank Change Reminder                               
wellsYou should have received a letter or e-mail from us this month, but, just to remind you, we have recently moved our banking accounts from Albina Community Bank to Wells Fargo.  If you have an outstanding Opportunity or Credit Builder Loan, this means that your Security Holdback (15% of your Opportunity Loan or 100% of your Credit Builder Loan) is now being held at Wells Fargo Bank in our Special Account for Borrower's Deposits.  This change will have no effect on your loan or the release of these funds once you have paid your loan in full.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.   

lloydAlso, we are now located in two different spaces: the third floor of the Lloyd Center Mall in Suite 2011 and in our old office at the New Columbia Opportunity Center. If you would like to make an appointment, let Carmina, Talia and Sarah know which office is most convenient for you!

For Our Borrowers

Money treeAre You Receiving Your Payment Reminders?

If you chose to receive your payment reminders by email, make sure that they are coming to your inbox and not your junk mail. If you would like to change the way that you receive reminders (by mail, by email, or by phone call) let us know! Call Talia at  or Carmina at 503.249-5205.

How to Make Your Loan Payment
  • You can mail your payment by check or money order to: Innovative Changes, 4610 N. Trenton St., Portland, OR 97203
  • You can drop off your payment (check, money order or cash) at the New Columbia Opportunity Center Front Desk- Mon- Fri, 8am-5pm 
    • Please note the building is closed to the public during the lunch hour (12pm-1pm) and is occasionally closed on Fridays for State furlough days.   
    • The front desk person has envelopes and is authorized to collect payments on our behalf if we are not in. If you are paying in cash and need change, you must contact Sarah, Carmina or Talia in advance to arrange a meeting time.    
  • You can drop off your payment (check, money order or cash) at the Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Suite 2011 (2011 Lloyd Center Mall, Portland, OR 97232) Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm and Saturdays by appointment (call Carmina).             

We Are Here to Help!  


Are you having trouble making your payment this month, or afraid that it might be a little late? Let us know! We understand that unexpected events and expenses can make it hard to keep your finances on track, and Innovative Changes wants to be there for you in such cases. Innovative Changes is flexible and willing to work with our borrowers to satisfy loan obligations, and in return we ask for honest and timely communication. Remember, if you know your payment is going to be late, let us know ahead of time and we might be able to avoid charging a late fee, or sending out a late notice.