Isaac Oppong’s financial circumstances were trying, difficult, and unpredictable before being introduced to the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC).
Upon enrolling in the FOC, Mr. Oppong had no savings, was under-employed and had an unscored FICO credit profile due to insufficient credit history. After attending a mandatory financial capability workshop,in partnership with the City of Newark, Oppong was intrigued and eager to enroll in multiple services provided by the FOC. He quickly began financial coaching sessions and expressed a strong desire to learn new financial skills, tactics and take control of his finances.“I want to be able to take care of my family and build for my future,” said Oppong.
The Financial Opportunity Center helped Mr. Oppong track spending, build credit ,deepen goals, and develop a financial plan based in action and opportunity. Oppong quickly took advantage of the Twin Account program, a matched savings client-incentive product. This program allows clients to save $25 monthly and those funds are matched dollar-for-dollar(up to $300.00 in a 12-month period). Clients save$300 and receive $300 for a total base savings of $600 annually.This program is two-fold, as clients save monthly, these savings are reported as positive activity on their credit report thus, assisting in building credit profiles. After 1 month in the FOC, Mr. Oppong increased his employment status from part-time to full-time. Within 18 months, Oppong increased his hourly wage by 68%, improved his FICO credit score more than 200 points, and saved over $5,000 toward emergency savings and the purchase of a car. “My situation has gone from stressful to hope filled, I feel I can achieve any goal I set,” said Oppong.
Today, Oppong is working on a new set of goals, purchasing a home in the next 24 months and building assets. He is on track to purchase a car within the next 2 months. Without the FOC, Oppong was not confident in reaching goals because he felt he did not have enough knowledge, resources and affirmation to succeed. Now he consistently saves 15% of income and plans to enroll in an employer-based retirement plan this year. “I am so thankful I came to that first financial workshop and now have a financial coach.I changed my path in the direction I want, success!”exclaims Oppong