Client Stories

Krystal's Story

Krystal's Story
Krystal was extremely receptive to Common Wealth Charlotte's relational financial education sessions and was a very active participant.
Krystal is a single mother in her mid-20s with a young daughter. She has been a faithful employee at a fast food restaurant almost two years. Krystal spent four hours each day riding the bus to and from work and childcare, which was severely limiting her potential. In a car, this trip would only take 20 minutes each way.

She was offered four promotions for various roles including Shift Manager and even Assistant Manager. Unfortunately, she had to turn them down every time because the bus route to her job wasn't available early in the morning when she needed to report to work. As a result, Krystal was literally stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty.

After attending Common Wealth Charlotte's financial education classes, Krystal worked even harder to manage her limited paycheck and was finally selected to participate in a car purchase program called JumpStart. Common Wealth Charlotte made Krystal a 3.15% car installment loan in the amount of $1,200 with Krystal and Charlotte Family Housing making the down payment.

Not long after owning her car, Krystal was given another promotion, but this time she was able to accept it! Having 3 1/2 more hours to work per day and a higher pay rate has provided more stability for Krystal and her daughter. She feels that her dreams of self-sufficiency are within reach now, and after she bought the car, she said emotionally, "I am now unstoppable."

Wanda's Story

Wanda's Story
Wanda works two jobs to make ends meet: full time as an administrative assistant and part time as a grocery store cashier. She cares and provides for her disabled son as well as her grandson. When Wanda was referred to Common Wealth Charlotte, she was working hard to provide for her family and put past struggles behind. She and her family were recently homeless due to a job layoff. A growing pile of past-due living expenses caused her to lose her home and, without options, she obtained a very predatory title loan in an attempt to catch up. The end result was Wanda filing for bankruptcy and completely starting over.

Wanda is committed to becoming financially stable and has been a very active participant in CWC's financial coaching sessions. After attending our first workshop, Wanda received immediate extended coaching with accountant and CWC volunteer Heather Myers.   Since then, she has completed several detailed one-on-one counseling sessions with Common Wealth Charlotte executive director Darren Ash and Heather. She even qualified for the CWC Opportunity Loan to pay off several of her small predatory loans.

With 80% of her income going to housing and transportation costs, Wanda still struggles to make ends meet. It will take time, but Wanda is committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed. She said "I am grateful that CWC is never leaving my side."

Angie's Story

Wanda's Story
Angie was ecstatic to be approved to be a new Habitat homeowner.  Angie knew there would be a lot of work before she got into her home, but she really wanted to have a place to call her own.  In order to prepare her for this journey, Angie utilized CWC's financial education process.  

Angie found the CWC classes extremely informative.  She especially enjoyed the discussions about creative ways to stretch and balance her budget.  She also began to understand her credit report for the very first time.

"Ms. Quinn from Common Wealth Charlotte came to teach a class about money. She was awesome!  She explained the class so clearly.  I have been to a several financial classes, but have never really paid much attention.  Mary taught it a way that made a lot of sense.  She said she made mistakes in her past and explained how she fixed them.  She knew there was more about my finances than just my job.  I want to do bigger things and now I understand how to work toward peace of mind instead of just surviving paycheck to paycheck.  Thanks Ms. Quinn......You Rock!!"

Your Story

Krystal's Story
Imagine a system where you can actually lend to our working poor versus the old toxic charity models of one-way giving. CWC provides you with just that opportunity! 

Our donor-funded loan collateral pool allows us to re-bank and make low-interest CWC Opportunity Loans (3.15%) to enable our working poor to avoid the highly predatory fringe banking system, including payday loans, pawn shops, rent-to-own schemes, and late and overdraft fees.  

Over 5 years, a gift of $750 will help 8 clients receive CWC Opportunity Loans for everyday emergencies such as car repairs, gaps in income, past-due bills, security deposits or to pay off existing predatory loans. With the CWC model, this investment generates 
8 times the value (or $6,000) in loans before your $750 in collateral is exhausted by low expected loan losses. 

We protect your donated collateral with wraparound trauma-informed financial counseling, job training partnerships and paycheck drafting. We will also report back to you real outcomes such as increases in credit scores and savings, and decreases in overall debt.  

Be part of this new, innovative approach to serving our most fragile and important workers. Contribute to CWC and truly become an investor in our community!