November 2015

Innovative Changes recently attended Neighborhood PartnershipsRe:Conference in Salem. While there, we attended a great workshop on consumer protection so we decided to dedicate this issue to ways you can protect yourself from scams. 
Top tips to avoid loan scams:
1. Be wary of anyone who requires personal bank account information or Social Security numbers before providing you with any information such as: fees, interest rates, etc. You should know what you're getting into before you sign/pay.
2. Be wary of anyone who requires upfront fees before getting a loan.
3. Fees attached to a loan must be explained before signing and receiving said loan.
4. Be wary of anyone who does not provide you with a written loan agreement to read, sign and agree to. You are entitled to a copy of your loan agreement.
You are always welcome to contact us if you think you are the victim of a scam.  We can help you find information and resources to protect yourself and your family.

All the best,
Innovative Changes
Credit Tip of the Month
Did you know that if you take out a loan jointly with a spouse or partner, payments are reported to both of your credit files? Joint loans are reported to each of your credit reports, which can be a great benefit! However, it also means that if one of you is unable to pay, the other will be responsible for payment, and any delinquent payments will be reported to both files. Consider the tradeoffs and ask your lender about joint loans or credit cards!
Interested in learning more about how to build credit?  See if a credit builder loan is right for you.

State Gets Tough with Unlicensed Lenders
By Nancy Yuill
In what may be one of the best developments for consumer finance protection in Oregon in recent years, Oregon took a bold move this last legislative session to control unlicensed lenders, especially online payday lenders and title lenders.  Senate Bill 278, which became law on September 17th says that if a payday loan or title loan is made by an unlicensed lender to an Oregonian, the loan is simply void and uncollectible. 

Avoid Scams When Paying for School
By Stephanie Sampedro
We all know that school is expensive, and it takes work to find ways to fund your college degree. Completing the FAFSA and applying for scholarships can help reduce costs. If you cannot pay for school with grants and scholarships alone, then you will likely want to take out loans from the federal government. While there are many programs out there to help you pay for school and also repay any student loan debt you take out, there are plenty of scammers out there that will try to take the money you earned! Here are some tips for avoiding scholarship scams and debt repayment scams. 

Financial Scams Targeted at Seniors
By Katie Kasabian 
 "Older Americans lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually to financial exploitation, and it's estimated that for each case that is reported, 43 others go unrecognized."[1] Educating yourself on consumer scams is the first step in protecting yourself from being taken advantage of. Here are some of the top scams targeted towards seniors and steps to take to protect your finances.

The National Council on Aging[2] states the top 10 scams targeted towards seniors are: 
  1. Medicare/health insurance fraud. In these scams, perpetrators pose as Medicare representatives to get individuals to give up personal information. They then bill Medicare for made-up services using the personal information and pocket the money. 
 Continue reading about elder financial exploitation here. 

SaveHolidays Around the City

Gearing up for the holidays can become stressful when thinking about your budget. Portland has some free events (including free Thanksgiving meals) around the city to help take your mind off of all the bustle and get into the holiday spirit.


 Upcoming Workshops & Orientationscb
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:
- Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm  
Nov. 24th: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit
Dec. 8th: Making Ends Meet
Dec. 15th: Budgeting and Savings
Dec. 22nd: Hands on Banking
Dec. 29th: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit

This workshop series will be held at our NEW office in 2027 Lloyd Center Mall.
You can register for the classes 
Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:

En ESPANOL miércoles, 2 de Deciembre 5:30-6:30 pm
Friday, December 11th, 1-2 pm
Wednesday, December 16th, 5:30-6:30 pm
Thursday, January 7th, 5:30-6:30 pm
Wednesday, January 13th, 1-2 pm
Thursday, January 21nd, 5:30-6:30 pm

All take place at our office, 2027 Lloyd Center.
Register here.
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