Our matched savings program helps participants increase their savings while teaching them important financial literacy skills and habits. Our homebuyer matched savings program has 10 participants who each save money into a designated account every month. At the end of the 18 month program, ACDC matches their savings up to $1,800. Along the way, participants meet with our financial education counselors to learn how to effectively budget and save, build their credit and gradually reach their financial goals.
This is the story of Fan who completed the program and purchased her first home.
“I came to the US in 2013 with my husband and daughter who was just starting high school. I work two part-time jobs as a massage therapist and my husband is a chef. We used to live in a basement apartment which was cramped and humid.
One day, the fire department came to perform an inspection and we found out that our apartment was not legal for renting out. My landlord tried different things to improve the apartment, but I knew that we needed to find our own place.
Following the advice of some friends, I attended a first-time homebuyer workshop with ACDC and started to think about the possibility of owning our own home. I learned about the different mortgage opportunities for low-income families. I still had many questions, but after speaking with Lee, I knew that I needed to have a solid plan in place before I would be able to buy a home.
I was excited to join ACDC’s matched savings program last year. Through the program, I met one on one with Lee. Lee helped me put together a financial plan that helped me to put together a regular budget. I learned how to read my W2 form and the importance of tracking my income taxes.
During the workshops, we learned the importance of paying my credit card balances every month and to check my credit score regularly. I also met with other people who were in a similar situation as me and were saving money for a home. I was inspired when another participant was able to buy her first home and I was hopeful that I could do the same.
Finally, I found a 2 bedroom townhouse that was perfect for my family. Lee worked with me through the entire process. After looking through the details of the initial bank loan, Lee told me that the loan was a very high interest rate and we realized that the mortgage amount would not be enough for the townhouse, so I was disappointed to give up on this house.
However, Lee was able to find a different bank to me that provided down payment assistance and that was able to provide a higher a loan amount. The down payment assistance, combined with the matched savings from ACDC, was perfect for me.
In August, I finally moved out of the basement apartment and into our new home. My new house is very comfortable, and my mortgage payment is actually lower than the rent in my basement apartment. I am very grateful for ACDC’s help, providing me with financial education as well as valuable information about buying a house. I believe that the financial skills that I learned will continue to help me for a very long time.”