June 2015



Last week I had the pleasure of stepping in to do a loan closing for one of our borrowers.  The borrower had a steady job and had saved some money, but her child got ill and she needed to use her savings to cover those costs. Then her car broke down.  She needs her car to keep her job.  We lent her $1,000 to cover the repairs. Her joy in being approved for the loan reminded me of why we do this work.   It's our opportunity to say "I have confidence in you.  I trust that you will pay back this money." Later in the week Cliff Jones of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon told me that what I had been doing is called Contradicting Oppression- powerful words for a simple act of faith.  In this era of increased disparity and imbalance of power, when our communities of color are increasingly being marginalized and left behind, there is need for all of us to be pro-actively contradicting oppression.  Take a chance.  Have faith.  



All the best,


Nancy Yuill

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Women's Foundation of Oregon awards Innovative Changes an inaugural Legacy Award!


Pictured from left to right: Julie Falk, Foundation President; Emily Evans, Foundation Executive Director; Nancy Yuill, IC$ Executive Director; Rosanne Marmor, IC$ President
On May 27th the Women's Foundation of Oregon announced that Innovative Changes was awarded one of two inaugural grants of $25,000.  These very special awards commemorate the foundations that came together to form The Women's Foundation of Oregon.  The Women's Care Foundation and the Portland Women's Foundation have supported us in the past, most notably in our work with our women's financial leadership peer groups.  They are now together as one statewide foundation, with a vision of an Oregon where every woman and girl can thrive. Their mission is to focus the power of women's collective resources to improve the lives of women and girls throughout Oregon.  Their members voted on the finalist, and you can see the video ballots here.


smart goals2Credit Building without a Social Security Number



Did you know that you can build credit even if you don't have a social security number (ssn)? While some banks and credit unions have an internal policy that requires a ssn, technically you don't need a ssn to build credit. Many creditors can report your payment history using just your name, date of birth, and address! A few tips:

  • It's important to use the same variation of your name (Marta L. Garcia, for example) in case someone else has a similar one.
  • Be sure to use the USA format for your date of birth (MM-DD-YYYY); some other countries put the day first.
  • Never use your ITIN as a substitute for a ssn! ITIN's are not permanent identifiers and don't work the same as a social security number; they shouldn't be interchanged for credit reporting purposes.
  • If you do get a ssn, write a letter to each credit bureau telling them your name, address, date of birth, and recent addresses and ask them to merge your pre-SSN credit history with your new ssn.
 Learn more about building, repairing and protecting credit at one of our workshops, or through our credit builder loan!


Partner Spotlight: Michele Cruse


Michele serves as the Interim-Director of the TRIO Student Support Service program at Portland Community College, Sylvania. TRIO is a federally funded program that provides support services, such as academic tutoring, personal advising, counseling, mentoring, and assistance for students in obtaining scholarships, and managing those awards for low income, first generation college students, and students living with disabilities. 


What brought you to that position? 

My undergraduate and graduate work are both in Public Administration and my pending PhD is in higher education.  I have always been interested in having a career where I could empower, advocate, and educate those with voices that have been silenced. My career goal was to work in a community college, where I could use my administrative/financial skills set along with opportunities to teach adult learners.  This opportunity provides the perfect balance of all.


What populations are you serving?

The TRIO Student Support Services program serves low income, first-generation students, and students that experience a disability at Portland Community College.  


Read more about Michele 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 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
- Wednesday July 1st, 1-2pm

- Friday July 10th, 5:30-6:30pm



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

Quick Stats:
As of 6/8/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,258
IDA Savers: 115
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 contact@innovativechanges.org to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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