Sometimes we get overwhelmed by big projects and daunting tasks that stare us in the face and won’t go away. Not only can it be difficult, it can be down right paralyzing. Skylar L. of Omaha, Nebraska felt this back in 2018 when she was reviewing her financial picture. “I knew that I needed help because I had no idea where to start,” she said.

In February 2019 she enrolled in Operation HOPE’s Credit and Money Management Program with the hopes of strengthening their financial footing in order to purchase a home. When they began reviewing their their credit history it unearthed a number of troubling details that needed to be corrected. Skylar and her husband Chris had student loans in default, a few accounts in collections, and a flurry of negative remarks and delinquencies on their credit report. These factors caused her credit score to come in at a troubling 520. Nevertheless, with the help of their financial coach Kathleen, she was ready to learn how to correct course and begin the repair process.

Skylar and Chris soon discovered that the worst was over. The hardest part about beginning their financial freedom journey, like for many people, was facing the fear of the unknown. They soon learned that though their situation was less than ideal they were not so far gone that their finances were in disrepair. On the contrary, Kathleen, and later their new financial coach Amy, would show them that with time, diligence, and patience they could turn their story around and achieve their ultimate goal of homeownership.

The financial coaches worked side-by-side with Skylar and Chris to help them develop a repayment plan for their outstanding debt, helped them build new positive credit along with creating a thriving budget that allowed them to start putting money into savings — not only for emergencies, but also for a down payment on a house. 

After being in the program just shy of two years they were able to pay off all of their debt increase credit scores to a near 700 with savings totaling $8,712. With their improved credit scores and a healthy savings account, the couple was ready to fulfill their dream of homeownership.