We help low-income individuals and families, and those who otherwise lack adequate access to capital and/or financial services, manage short-term financial needs in order to achieve and maintain household stability.
Innovative Changes (IC$) offers financial education, responsible small-dollar consumer loans, credit building techniques and asset building opportunities.
“The program has made me feel that I’m taking a positive step toward my goals. The staff was very helpful and I didn’t feel as if I was being judged [because of] my being in a challenging financial situation.” – IC$ client
Financial Coaching, Workshops and Seminars
The first step in taking control of your finances is to adopt positive spending and savings habits. We offer you the opportunity to work with a financial coach to use the tools and techniques you need to take practical steps towards a better financial future. We provide comprehensive workshops that are designed to help you gain control of your short- and long-term personal finances, and we hold regular seminars on financial topics such as tax preparation, teaching your kids about money and consolidating student loans.
A recent participant noted, “I love the work sheets, both for in-class work, and worksheets for budgeting, expenses during the month. I’m going to learn more about my spending habits as I fill out the forms.”
Click here to learn more about our financial education or email us at email@example.com about individual coaching.
Responsible Small-Dollar Consumer Loans
Unexpected expenses or a sudden loss of income can result in crisis and overwhelming stress, often made worse by the use of high-cost payday loans to meet basic household needs. Our loans are designed to help borrowers who are experiencing financial emergencies, those wishing to pay down other high-cost debt, and those preparing for asset building opportunities. Currently prospective borrowers must be referred by one of our community partners in order to apply for a loan. Click here for a list of our referring partners.
“I had a great first impression. It was smooth, I didn’t feel judged and the two young ladies I interacted with do a great job representing this program.”A recent loan client.
Credit Building Opportunities
Your credit score is a measure of the likelihood that you will pay your debt as agreed. The lower your credit score, the more likely you are to default on your debt. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent a lower risk to the lender. Your score affects the cost of your debt, and can block you from many asset-building opportunities, such as homeownership. A good credit score can lower your interest rate and enable you to access credit that will help you build assets for you and your family. While there is no quick fix for increasing credit scores, the good news is, you can take simple, practical steps to build and raise your score. Come see us if you would like to repair, build and protect your credit score. Through our Credit Builder program you can begin to establish a positive credit history and create a Credit Action Plan that will help you reach your financial goals.
“They [IC$ staff] explained the credit report to me. That was something I didn’t understand. I want to build my credit and work my way up toward home ownership.” —IC$ Client, single mother of three
You build assets by saving money, owning a home (or other assets that maintain value) or inheriting assets from your family. Very good money management skills can make it possible for you to save money. Good credit and a banking track record will help you to own a home or start a small business. Post-secondary education can help you get a better paying job, so you have more money to save and invest in a home of your own. While we can’t help you find that rich uncle, our financial education and financial products are geared towards helping you gain the skills and track record needed to utilize programs to help you build assets. We help broker direct access for our clients to nonprofit asset-building programs, “second chance” bank accounts and secured revolving credit with traditional financial institutions. Come see us to start building your assets today!
Innovative Changes is certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and we are a 501(c)3 non-profit registered with the State of Oregon.