May 2015


"Credit Invisibles" the report recently released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), highlights the plight faced by tens of millions of Americans who have no credit file or insufficient credit data to be scored by the three national credit reporting agencies, Transunion, Experian and Equifax. We know that consumers with limited credit histories face tremendous barriers accessing responsible, affordable credit. The CFPB report demonstrates that these problems are disproportionately borne by Blacks, Hispanics and low income communities. Nationally, in our Black communities 28% of the adult population is credit invisible or unscored. In our Hispanic communities the number is 27%, while for Whites it is 16%. In low income communities 46% of the consumers are credit invisible or unscored. We know that credit building is essential to asset building. This massive credit disenfranchisement echoes in The State of Black Oregon 2015 report published by The Urban League of Portland earlier this month. The disparities highlighted in the first State of Black Oregon report five years ago have persisted or gotten worse. Black homeownership in Oregon is half the rate of White homeownership. Median net worth for Blacks in Oregon is 7 cents to the dollar of White wealth. The State of Black Oregon 2015 provides an urgent call to act with strong policies we all have a role in advancing. I urge you to join in, as there is much to do.


All the best,


Nancy Yuill


Save the Date!

Please RSVP & join us!

Salem Asset Opportunity Day


by Stephanie Sampedro


On the morning of April 28th
 I arrived early to the Lloyd Center to meet my coworkers Rachell and Landra and two IDA savers Heidi and Kat. We met in the early morning hours to carpool down to Salem to advocate for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) as part of the Asset Opportunity Day. We joined Neighborhood Partnerships and over 100 Oregonians from all over the state to meet with our legislators and discuss the power and impact of IDAs in the lives of low-income individuals. We made signs, marched to the steps of the capital and held a rally on the steps to spread the word on how IDAs are helping Oregon! It was great to meet with legislators from East Portland, inform them how much their constituents and neighbors are saving with IDAs (over $2.8 million) and how those funds are helping savers attend community college, buy homes and start small businesses. The legislators I met with were also excited to hear that each saver receives financial education and coaching that supplies them with knowledge, tools and confidence to reach their financial goals. Despite our success on this Asset Opportunity Day, there are still legislators that need to hear about the impact of IDAs so that our bill, HB 2011, and tax credit bills are renewed, extended and increased!

 Please register and join us on June 3rd when we return to Salem for our second Asset Opportunity Day to ask for more IDA funding to help more Oregonians!

smart goals2Credit Builder Success Story


Kurt wanted to buy a home, but he knew with a score in the 500s that a mortgage was out of reach. He took out a credit builder loan to help build his score while also working on credit repair. At 6 months, his score had increased a bit, but not enough, because he lacked any revolving credit. He took the initiative to add a secured credit card, and after the credit builder program was over, his score had increased over 100 points and he qualified for a mortgage! Congratulations, Kurt! 


Are you interested in building YOUR credit to qualify for a mortgage or another credit goal? Attend a credit builder loan orientation! Orientations are offered once a week in English and once a month in Spanish!

aliciaMeet our new intern Shapiro!


This spring we welcomed our third intern to Innovative Changes through the Work Systems Inc. WEX program. Shapiro is a native Portlander and has jumped in head first to his position. We are thrilled to have him work with us, because he supports each program at IC$ and is such a positive, fun presence in our office! Check out his interview below.


What drew you to this position at Innovative Changes?

I come from a low class family, and I have friends whose families are the same. The school system doesn't teach you everything, and sometimes family members may not be knowledgeable about the right and wrong ways to spend money. Which eventually will get to you, and now you're stuck not knowing what you should do about that money problems you're having. Innovative Changes is taking the time to give you information on how to money manage and help you get back to a place of financial security and peace.


What were you doing before ICS?

Before Innovative Changes I was working at Chipotle making minimum wage and barely making it.


Where are you originally from?

I am born and raised in Portland, OR. I grew up in North Portland in the Humboldt area. I attended SEI Academy Middle School, Benson High, and graduated from Rosemary Anderson High School.


Continue reading about Shapiro here!

coahcingCoach Spotlight: Erin


What brought you to the volunteer coaching program at Innovative Changes? 

I have always been savings-minded, even as a small child. I would save whatever lunch money I didn't use and would have a couple hundred dollars by the end of the year. Those types of habits naturally carried over and evolved so I do my best to stay up to date and keep getting better with how I manage my finances-I read a lot of things like Suze Orman and Ramit Sethi books, etc.-but I also know what it's like to struggle with finances or to make ends meet. When I saw what Innovative Changes does, I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to share my experiences and help someone else.


Why do you think financial education is important? 
I believe that financial empowerment, and education especially, is important because our finances are our lives, or rather how well our lives are able to function. If you're always worrying about how to pay this bill or that expense, the quality of life can be greatly impacted and stressful. 


Read more about Erin here!

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm


June 9th: Making Ends Meet

June 16th: Budgeting and Savings

June 23rd: Hands on Banking

June 30th: Building, Repairing, and Protecting Credit 



This workshop series will be held at our office in 2010 Lloyd Center Mall. You can register for the classes here.

Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:


- Wednesday May 20th, 5:30-6:30pm

- ESPANOL viernes el 29 de mayo, 1-2pm

- Wednesday June 3rd, 5:30-6:30pm

- Friday June 12th, 1-2pm

- Wednesday June 17th, 5:30-6:30

- ESPANOL miercoles el 27 de junio 1-2pm


 All take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center.  Register here.

Quick Stats:
As of 5/18/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,242
IDA Savers: 107
IDA Graduates:
IDA Wait List:
IDA Interest: 
About Us
Our inter-related programs of responsible lending, credit building, financial education and savings acceleration build people's financial capabilities and put them on the path to long term financial health.  Join us in our work!

You Can Help!

You care about helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Now you can join our efforts at Innovative Changes as we expand our reach to serve more clients. Your generous donation will be put to good use!


Whatever amount you can afford, you can set it up for monthly automatic payments to ease your cash flow. If you have bill pay service with your bank you can set up Innovative Changes to receive regular monthly payments. If you prefer, we can process a monthly ACH transaction on your behalf. Contact us at to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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