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From Prison to the 700-Credit-Score Club

Ronald Bell attended a workshop hosted by Ryan Moore, Financial Wellbeing Coach for HOPE Inside Regions Bank Belleville, in April of 2021 through a strategic alliance with an organization named Connections to Success. Connections to Success is a non-profit that is helps disrupt the cycle of poverty, just like Operation HOPE. Ronald came to Connections without a job, credit score or even a vehicle to drive. He was facing challenges that often come with life after incarceration. After attending a collaboration workshop with Connections and Operation HOPE, Ronald decided to make the leap into getting his finances in order.

Ronald joined the Operation HOPE Credit and Money Management Program with Ryan a week later. Once Ryan pulled his credit score he discovered that Ronald had insufficient credit to report a score. He had one collection on his profile for an old apartment for $4000. At their three month check in, Ronald shared that he had landed a job and was working on building up a savings to take care of the collection and had also opened a deposit secured credit card to start building his score. In August of 2021, Ronald finally had a score of 644. He was on his way!

Fast forward to June 2022 and Ronald is now the proud owner of a Ford pickup truck (which he was able to borrow from a credit union at a great rate), has taken out an unsecured credit card, and has started his own business. His current credit score is now a 721 and he is preparing to now join HOPE’s 1 Million Black Business Program to help continue to building his business.

While there’s life, there’s HOPE for new beginnings. Ronald is a powerful testimony to that truth. Congratulations, Ronald!


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