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After 4 Decades, Nonprofit Still Helping Minnesotans Buy Homes Of Their Dreams – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’re house shopping right now, you know how competitive the market is. Inventory in the metro is still low and it’s more important than ever to be prepared before you start shopping around.

But a local nonprofit started by a group of St. Paul neighbors four decades ago is still helping Minnesotans get into the homes of their dreams.

READ MORE: New Affordable Housing Unit In North Minneapolis Uses Shipping Containers

A few months ago after renting for years, Saulsberry found the house with enough room for her and her 155-pound dog, Biggie.

“I woke up one morning and I got a ding on my phone, and I looked and I was like, ‘Oh, this might be the house,’” said Lori Saulsberry of Minneapolis.

But it’s still a sellers’ market, and the downpayment was intimidating.

“I was outbidded four times,” said Saulsberry. “I’ve looked high and low for a house I could afford in an area I was comfortable in.”

That’s where NeighborWorks Home Partners stepped in. The nonprofit helps roughly 1,000 Minnesotans each year with things like downpayment assistance, credit repair, preparing to buy a home, and budgeting, especially for first-time homebuyers and People of Color.

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“In the United States, home ownership is the way that American families build wealth, and if you’ve been excluded from that, you’ve missed that opportunity,” said Amanda Welliver.

According to a report published by the Urban Institute, about seven in 10 white families in the Twin Cities own their homes. For Black families it is roughly two out of 10, representing the largest gap in the country.

“That can be due to predatory lending. It can be due to the persistent effects of redlining,” said Welliver. “Especially if your expenses are higher, because you’re paying high rent, it can be hard to accumulate enough savings for that downpayment.”

With the boost from NeighborWorks, Saulsberry now pays less every month and has a place she can put her stamp on.

“A lot of people don’t know about it, but they should because it’s huge,” said Saulsberry. “More People of Color really need to start building wealth, and that’s in home ownership.”

MORE NEWS: Given A Hot Housing Market, What Pitfalls Await Buyers Who Forgo Inspections?

NeighborWorks also helps homeowners stay in their homes. It’s expecting the need for their free foreclosure prevention counseling sessions to pick up in the coming months.

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How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card – MoneyWise.com

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How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card  MoneyWise.com

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Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card? – MoneyWise.com

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Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?  MoneyWise.com

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Ask Gareth Shaw: ‘I’m scared I’ll get rejected for credit card because of mistakes I made in the past’

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‘Credit-builder’ cards can be used to demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower

Answer: Well done to you for getting back on your financial feet. Climbing your way out of debt is a marathon – it takes sacrifices and planning, so you’ve taken some really important steps in your financial journey.

The good news is that the negative information – the records of missed payments, defaults and even county court judgments – won’t stay on your credit report forever. Details of your late payments can be viewed for six years after they were settled. Searches and rejections of credit typically disappear after 12 months. So this dark cloud won’t hang over you forever.

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Before we talk about applying for credit again, there are steps you can take to improve your credit health. Firstly, you should review your credit reports and make sure there are no errors that could be holding your score back. You can get your credit report for free from each of the three credit reference agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – and can ask them to investigate errors. Lenders and credit reference agencies have 28 days to respond to disputes.

Registering to vote by getting on the electoral roll can boost your credit score, while you may even be able to add the record of your monthly rent payments to your credit score by asking your landlord to report rental payments to firms like The Rental Exchange, CreditLadder or Canopy.

Experian has launched a new tool that allows you to share information about your banking habits and subscriptions – information which is not traditionally factored into your credit score – in order to increase your score. That means paying your council tax or even paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime could give your score a boost.

If you still want a credit card, your choice is likely to be limited to a particular set of cards designed for people with poor or ‘thin’ credit histories. These are known as ‘credit-builder’ cards, or sometimes ‘bad credit’ cards.

These cards have higher interest rates compared to the most competitive products in the market, to reflect the risk that a lender is taking in by providing credit to someone with a history of repayment problems. You can expect to find an APR of around 29 per cent. They also have lower limits, so when you apply, don’t be surprised to find that the lender will initially only give you £250 to £500.

However, these cards can be used to demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower, can repay on time and stay within your credit limit.

Here’s the golden rule – avoid borrowing money on these credit cards. Purchases tend to be interest-free for 55 days, after which you’ll be charged a considerable amount of interest. So limit the use of these cards, and when you do use them, try to pay them off in full. If you don’t pay on time, you will lose any promotional offer, be hit with a fee and your provider will report your missed payment to the credit reference agencies, reversing any good work you might have done. Set up a direct debit to ensure that your minimum payments are met in advance of the credit card payment date.

When you apply, use an eligibility checker first. This will ask for some basic information and carry out a ‘soft search’ on your credit file, returning a list of cards and the probability of your application being successful. That would be a helpful guide to find a card that is likely to accept you.

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