IBA Spotlight | Financial Planning Success Stories

IBA Spotlight | Financial Planning Success Stories

With the average Bostonian owing at least $6,541 in consumer debt, finding ways to better manage your finances is key to achieving a bright financial future. That’s why IBA created the College & Financial Empowerment program, to give residents in the South End and Lower Roxbury communities the tools, resources, and strategies they need to repair their credit, create personal budgets, and better provide for themselves and their families.

We are honored to celebrate Financial Planning Month this October, with two remarkable examples of the power of financial literacy.

Meet Diane*

A single mother who moved abruptly to Boston to escape an abusive relationship. Her credit was in disarray, having been forced to ruin it in order to leave her previous life. And with a nearly-expired housing voucher, she was in dire need to find a safe place for her and her young daughter. Shortly after securing a position with MBTA, Diane sought to find additional financial support in her local community and was referred to IBA’s College & Financial Empowerment program. Given their current capacity, at the time, IBA financial counselors met with her multiple times until she was able to get a secured credit card. Through their financial planning courses, Diane learned the best ways to manage her spending so she could improve her credit score over time. An IBA financial counselor also sat with her and explained the fine print as she signed her first secured personal loan. With the guidance and support of IBA’s College & Empowerment program, Diane was able to raise her credit score from the mid-400s to the high-700s and be in a financial position to look for permanent housing opportunities for her family.

Meet Patricia*

Patricia’s daughter attended IBA’s Preschool Program, however, after losing her job, she began to accrue debt to try to pay for her family’s monthly expenses. Before long, she was unable to pay for childcare and had to withdraw her daughter from preschool.

The College & Financial Empowerment Program Director met with Patricia and the IBA Preschool Director to find a way to help her keep care for her daughter so she could look for employment, while also not financially burdening the family with childcare payments they could not afford, at the time.

Collaboratively, they developed a strategy to adjust her cash flow and make weekly payments for her daughter’s childcare. The plan included reducing unnecessary spending and looking for other ways to increase the money available to the family. With this in place, Patricia was able to continue her daughter’s education and look for long-term employment to support her family.

Do you know of someone who could benefit from having financial planning support? If so, visit IBA’s College & Financial Empowerment program here or contact Tiana Bonner, Program Director at (617) 535-1754.

*Name changed for privacy puroses