January 2015

The start of a new year means big financial decisions and tasks are coming down the road. For those who are or will be college students in 2015, it's already time to fill out financial aid applications. We know this can be a daunting process, so we've pulled together resources to help you out:

If you're looking for help with the FAFSA, more general financial planning, or the upcoming tax season, keep in mind that we have a Financial Empowerment Clinic coming up on January 31 from 10 am to 3 pm at Bradley Angle in N Portland. Visit our website for more information.  


And we have complementary tickets for the social action play, "How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes" at the Portland Playhouse. See below for details

All the best,

Innovative Changes

Credit Tip of the Month


Credit cards can be scary, but they can also be a great tool to help build credit. Here is a tip for using credit cards responsibly: Choose one household bill that is about the same amount every month, such as a cell phone bill. Set up your credit card to automatically pay that one bill, and then have your bank account automatically pay your credit card. That way you are using a small amount of credit every month and always paying it off, and there are no surprises! Then you can leave the card at home so you aren't tempted to use it for impulse purchases.


Interested in learning more about how to build credit? Attend a credit builder loan orientation!

Conquering the FAFSA

If you are or will be a college student this year, your first step in 2015 should be to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can seem like a overwhelming prospect, so we've pulled together key facts here on who should complete it, what you'll need, and where you can find help online and in Portland. 

10 Things to Know About Student Loans

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What's the difference between a federal loan and private loan? Can taking out a student loan hurt a credit score? How soon do student loans need to be repaid? We've pulled together 10 facts and resources to help you answer these questions and more as you decide on if and how you should use loans to finance postsecondary education.

graduating students
GrantsWhere to Find Scholarships and Grants

While deciding if you can afford to attend college, keep in mind that there is help out there. Scholarships and grants provide money to help you pay for college, and you don't have to pay the money back! We've pulled together more information on these resources, including a list of sites to help you find them. Read more.

PlayThe Portland Playhouse presents: How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes


In February Innovative Changes is participating in the Portland Playhouse's work "How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 99 people you may or may not know)" and you can too! 


Developed by Michael Rohd at Northwestern Universities Sojourn Theatre, "How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes" is part play, part lecture, part discussion, part performance piece, all social action. With the help of the actor facilitators, audience members will discuss the strengths of various approaches to ending poverty. Join us to think critically about the forces that cause poverty in our society, and what we can do to change them. We have eight tickets to give away for the night of Feb. 11th at 7:30 pm. It's first come first served so send us an email or give us a call! For more information or to purchase additional tickets, visit the Portland Playhouse website here


"How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes" opens February 4th and will run until February 22nd.



Upcoming Workshops & Orientations

The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm January 6th-27th

- Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm February 3rd-24th

- Fridays from 10 am-12 pm February 6th-27th


All workshops take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center Mall.

You can register for the classes here.

Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:


- (SPANISH) Jueves, 22 de enero 5:30-6:30 pm

- Friday, January 30th 1-2 pm

- Friday, February 6th 1-2 pm

- Friday, February 13th 1-2 pm

- Thursday, February 19th 5:30-6:50 pm


 All take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center.

Register here.

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