*Name and picture have been changed to protect confidentiality.
Faced with losing everything
In 2009, Linda, a single African-American woman in her late 50s, got hurt on the job. Without worker’s compensation she fell behind paying her mortgage and maxed out all of her credit cards. Linda struggled to hold on to her home in Richmond, California and stay in control of her life. Eventually she had to make the difficult decision to let go of her house and move in with her daughter.
Motivated to get back on track with financial coaching
Two years later Linda was still over $20,000 in debt, had 18 different creditors she owed money to and had almost nothing saved. Fortunately, in June of 2012 Linda found out about Tax-Aid’s financial coaching program. When asked about her motivation for joining the program, she said, “I myself knew that I needed some financial guidance, and I thought this program would be the perfect avenue for me to try and pursue the goal of reducing my debt.”
Through Tax-Aid, Linda was matched with her coach with whom she says she had an “immediate connection.” Over the next six months they met on a regular basis and slowly but surely Linda began to pay off her debts and gain control over her financial life again. “Going through the program motivated me and provided me with the tools and guidance I needed to achieve my goals. I used to say, ‘nobody has any money to save, who has a savings account?’ But the program allowed me to get my debts cleared up and even save a little bit. It allowed me to do something that I haven’t done in a long time, take a two week vacation.”
Secure in her retirement
Eight months later, Linda was able to reduce her debt by over $18,000 and was also able to save up almost 10 times more than what she started with. “It was actually quite exceptional,” she said. Linda is still in contact with her coach who is helping Linda continue to clear up all of her debt and reach her personal long-term financial goals. Due to the improvement she achieved in Tax-Aid’s financial coaching program Linda confidently states, “I feel good about myself.”