Success Stories

"Donita and Flip"

For many people, the idea of owning their own home can seem so distant and daunting that even beginning the process can be difficult. However, for Donita and her husband Michael (aka Flip), their housing situation had reached a point where they were desperate for a change. They've had the stability of renting the same public housing unit for over ten years, but the surrounding neighborhood is much less stable. Donita has never felt safe enough to sit on her front porch in all the years they've lived there.

In 2011, Donita and Flip decided it was time for a change. And they decided to start the process to buy their own home. However, when they went to acquire about a loan, the loan officer told them that they had credit issues; it was not that their credit was bad but that they did not have enough of it.

Donita had some outstanding student loans which she was gradually paying down, but Flip had never had a credit card or loan of any sort. In order to build their credit the lender advised them to open several different accounts of various sorts (credit cards, signature loans, etc.). After opening up all of the accounts, the lender then advised them against paying off their debts; he told them to "let sleeping dogs lie." Not surprisingly, their credit scores dropped as did their prospects for qualifying for a quality home loan. They were disappointed, frustrated and further away from achieving their goal of homeownership than they were when they began the process.

Looking for some sound financial advice, they visited the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) website and came across a home buyers' education class through New Level CD. New Level's Housing and Financial Education Specialist Karen Greer advised them that they could benefit from a slower more personal approach, and suggested they schedule a credit and financial review session.

Although the news that Karen gave them was difficult to hear, Donita and Flip were appreciative of Karen's expertise and candor. "Karen was honest," says Donita. "She told us the truth even if we did not want to hear it." Luckily they both have steady jobs at the Department of Human Services and Amerigroup Insurance. With our coaching they systematically paid off their debt and dramatically raised their credit score. They are now proud new homeowners with a front porch they can enjoy for many years to come.

"Donita and Flip"

With our coaching they systematically paid off their debt and dramatically raised their credit score. They are now proud new homeowners with a front porch they can enjoy for many years to come.

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"I Love it Here" - June Newsletter

What a difference a safe, fit, affordable home has made in William's life. He's heathier, he's thriving just like the tomatoes he's growing in our garden.

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"Taking Her Life Back" - July Newsletter

While moving forward with her life, Sharon has a strong desire to give back and help others who have faced challenges like hers. She's taken her life back, is giving back and has a promising future ahead.

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"A Journey Forward" - Sept-Oct Newsletter

To help Ti stay on sound financial footing she is working with New Level CDC's financial coaching program to help fulfill her dreams---something she now believes is possible.

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Working to Climb the Ladder

Change takes time but those we serve are succeeding. They are using budgets, reducing their debt, increasing their savings, buying homes, going back to school and starting businesses. They are climbing up the economic ladder.

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Connections …..Families, a home and student success

We connected Bobbi with job opportunities and she used our matching debt pay down fund to pay off an old utility bill. Her previous landlord is willing to rent to her again and Bobbi's sons have been receiving extra care and support at school.

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"Building Credit and Confidence"

Knowledge and understanding build confidence. Karen our financial education and housing specialist taught Monica how to understand her credit report, her student loan information and coached her on how to talk to creditors.

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"Recession to Recovery"

Joann was able to get control of and consolidate her debts, stabilize her credit, and receive a quality home loan. In July of 2015, Joann was thrilled to be able to close on a new home for her and her family.

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Carey's 47 year Journey Home

With the stability that Sophia's Heart offered for 2 years, Carey and Constance had battled back from PTSD and 25 years of drug use to living healthy, whole lives. They were ready to restart their journey home.

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Newlyweds and Home buying done Right

Manny and Valeria closed on their home in May and "tied the knot" with a June wedding. We celebrate with them as they start their life together on a firm financial foundation.

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Debt—Climbing out and moving Up

Duana is now climbing her ladder and with our matching savings program should realize her dream for her family very soon, a safe and secure place they can call proudly call home. She's moving UP!

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Believing then Achieving Dreams

The confidence Janice gained from reaching her savings goal combined our financial education helped her believe in herself allowing the very thought of new dreams.

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I'm telling everyone I know to take this class "BEFORE" you even start looking at homes. It's one of the best investments you can make.

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Out of the cold and into the Dry

As the season changes New Level CDC celebrates as 8 more warm, dry, safe and affordable homes are ready for those working hard to keep moving forward in life.

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