A few years ago, Byron suffered an injury in an accident at his job. Soon after, he was laid off due to COVID. Unfortunately, he was not prepared for the uncertain times. Although he started working again, he was going through financial hardship and living paycheck to paycheck. His credit was affected because he could not pay his credit cards and other bills. He knew he needed help repairing his credit, so he hired a credit counseling company for two years. However, he decided to cancel their service because he was paying too much for a service he wasn’t satisfied with. Although the credit repair company did modestly help Byron’s credit situation, he still wanted to gain an invaluable skill — understanding credit and making long-term improvements on his own.
Seeking a better alternative, Byron followed up on a referral to visit HOPE Inside Bank of America, Huntington Park. That’s where he met his financial wellbeing coach, Jimmy. They covered Byron’s financial assessment, budget plan, credit report, and work plan during their initial sessions. Understanding his assignment and work plan, Byron was eager to take action.
In six months, he negotiated $7,180 of collection accounts and settled by paying $5,500 using his tax return money. His credit score increased from 583 to 679. He was also approved for a car loan for $23,000 and now has dependable transportation. And he opened a savings account and currently has an emergency fund of $700.
Byron has a fresh start and can direct his life with freedom and a renewed sense of empowerment. Below is a message from Byron to his coach, Jimmy. The message appears in its original format in Spanish, followed by an English translation:
“Gracias Sr. Jimmy por educarnos a mí y a mi familia y por darnos esperanza y coraje para que las minorías también podamos vivir sin estrés. Nunca olvidaré lo que me dijiste cuando nos conocimos. Usted dijo que ‘una preparación adecuada evitará un rendimiento deficiente.’ Siempre estaré agradecido por lo que esta organización hace por personas como yo.”
“Thank you, Mr. Jimmy, for educating me and my family and for giving us hope and courage so that minorities can also live without stress. I’ll never forget what you told me when we met. You said that ‘proper preparation will prevent poor performance.’ I will always be grateful for what this organization does for people like me.”