Monique started participating in Lifelines at the age of 16. As a youth in foster care, she did not have much financial awareness. Monique heard about $tand By Me through the Fund For Women Scholarship Program 18 months ago. She was one of a few former foster care women who were selected to receive a scholarship to attend college. Part of the requirements were to meet with a coach at $tand By Me. When Monique found out that the coaches were West End employees, she was thrilled because she had such a good experience with LifeLines and felt they had helped her on her way to college and success.
When we started working on her financial goals, she expressed that she had no idea where to start and no idea what she wanted to do. Her goals were vaguely to start saving and maybe work on credit. She was in school, working full time, and raising three young children. Although she had a boyfriend, she was the primary earner and the person handling the finances. Through the coaching process, we started working on her goals and she started to see that she could achieve success. As she progressed, her goals got larger and larger and her confidence started to grow. Eventually, she started planning to buy a home and we focused our attention on preparing her financially.
In just 18 months with $tand By Me, she has achieved the following:
- Purchased her first home in Newark where she lives with her fiance and three children
- Received a promotion at work and now earns a higher salary with full medical benefits and retirement plan
- At entry, she had $200 in her Emergency Savings. At last review, she had saved $6200,
- She opened a Mango Savings Account to assist her in the goal of saving and has automatic savings deposits each month
- At entry, she had already saved $12,200 in her 401K. Thanks to additional deposits and learning about how to handle her account, she now has $25,200 in her retirement plan
- Monique opened a credit builder loan with her credit union to help her credit score prior to buying a home
- At entry, her credit score was 605. When she received her preapproval for a mortgage, the score was 665
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Monique has said she feels an increased sense of financial control and a decreased sense of worry in her life. She knows that she is capable of reaching her goals, despite the challenges and setbacks she faced along the way