Asset Building


Helping Families Build a Financial Foundation

Too many low-wealth Americans have scant savings to weather financial storms and no other assets that will help build a better future. Self-Help is committed to helping our members build more savings. Our products also are designed to help members avoid predatory lenders and high-cost check cashers. We call it success when our members establish financial stability, begin saving, improve their credit history and, in many cases, become homeowners.

Supporting Stronger Credit and More Savings

Two of our products that help members get on an asset-building path:

Credit Builder loans help members with little or no credit history or with previous credit problems. We make a low interest-rate loan and deposit the proceeds into the borrower's savings account. As the borrower pays off the loan, we report the payments to credit bureaus, helping to establish stronger credit. When the loan is repaid, the borrower receives the loan funds plus interest earned--automatic savings.

WealthBuilder loans are designed for members who may be struggling with a high interest rate personal finance loan. We refinance the loan with a lower rate and lower the member's monthly payments. Part of the savings are automatically advanced into the member's savings account. The savings earn interest that goes to the member as soon as the WealthBuilder loan is paid in full.

Newer innovations: In California, we are piloting "5 for Me" accounts that encourage check-cashing customers to set aside savings. In North Carolina we are developing a retirement savings vehicle for members who don't have access to plans through their employers.

 

 

Self-Help's Credit Builder Loans Featured in National Journal

National Journal: Baby Steps Toward Home Ownership

First comes better credit. Then, a mortgage?
By Nancy Cook

February 20, 2015 Like many Americans, John Corbin racked up credit card debt purchasing small splurges that were just outside off his budget. "I kind of spent money that I didn't have," says Corbin, who works as a supervisor at a manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Eventually, Corbin's credit card bills hit $2,500, with a 30 percent interest rate. That rate seemed like a massive headache (not to mention an added expense)—that is, until Corbin discovered that he could refinance his credit card loan through a local credit union and pay a much lower interest rate of 8 or 9 percent.

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