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Circles program leading Greenville residents on a path out of poverty



At one time, LeAundrea Robinson could sum up the story of her life situation in three words: “broke, broken and homeless.”

Circles Greenville County helped change the narrative by giving her a support system that helped lift her out of her circumstances.

The mother of four, today, is a homeowner who works full time and has launched nonprofit organizations such as Unity Projects, Inc. and SIMS (She Is My Sista).

Circles Greenville, a chapter of Circles USA, which works to help people move out of poverty, “gave me something that other organizations didn’t,” Robinson said. “I was able to go from surviving to thriving.”

The same may also be said about the 40 others in Greenville who’ve completed Circles 18-month program.

The process begins with a 12-week training class, during which people accepted to the program learn basic financial literacy and create a plan to achieve their goals.

When they graduate from the 12-week class, they become “Circles leaders.” The leaders are then matched with people from the community that Circles calls allies. Allies are volunteers that receive training to help the leaders fulfill their goals.

“Many of our leaders have started their own business and now employ people in our community,” said Judy Brown, a Circles volunteer and ally. “They are working on college degrees or have graduated college. It has been a wonderful experience to watch our Circles leaders thrive and bring their family out of poverty. Circles leaders improve our local economy and that benefits all of us.”

Men Moving Forward helps addicts

Carson Love, who completed the program last month, plans to use what he’s gained from Circles to move forward with his business partner to open a house for men recovering from addiction. His partner, Supreme Newkirk was unable to participate in Circles because of his work schedule, Love said. 

The idea for Men Moving Forward is one the men have had since 2013, Love said. The inspiration stems from their own journey to recovery, he said.

“We’re both recovering addicts and we came up with this platform to open a recovery house for men suffering from disease of addiction and alcoholism,” Love said. “We want to help these gentlemen get their lives back in order, to first help them to stop using then to help them get back to the basics.”

Love said the project has come to a standstill. They’ve been unable to find a house to rent or buy for the men.

Love, the owner of a transportation service who also works in maintenance at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church (BSUMC), was familiar with Circles. The Circles meetings are held there at BSUMC.

But, Love said, he didn’t know what Circles was about until the late Stella McBee, a Circles coach, encouraged him to complete an application. He’s glad he did.

Through the program, he said he’s learned how to think differently about money. His old way, Love said, “was driving me in the hole.”

“I have not used a credit card in seven months and that’s phenomenal for me because every time I go to Walmart, I use the Walmart card,” Love said. “They helped me change my thinking to use that kind of source only in emergencies and budget from what I get paid biweekly.”

Love plans to pass the information on to his business partner as well as the gentlemen in the planned recovery house.

“If they see me trying to budget and be a good manager of money, they can probably take on that trait as well,” he said. “I really internalized it when I saw it working for me.”

Circles Greenville is in it’s 6th year

Circles Greenville, a partnership between BSUMC and Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources (SHARE), has been at work in the community since 2015

Robinson and Tori Franklin, 25, were among the inaugural graduates of the program.

Franklin was a new mom and a Greenville Tech student when McBee, who died in August 2020, and Sandra Bullock, former Circles Greenville County coordinator, introduced her to Circles.

At the time, Franklin was still fresh in trying to figure out how to be a single mother and make ends meet.

The program, she said, helped her clarify what she wanted to do in life. It also inspired her status from single mother to “independent mother.”

“I was always someone seen as a statistic,” Franklin said. “I felt like in Circles, I was taken in to be a part of a family, to be with people that helped nurture and helped me to grow as a strong black woman.”

Circles also helped Franklin accomplish a goal of obtaining her two-year degree in marketing from Greenville Tech. Franklin, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree from Berea College in Kentucky, said sometimes when a person is seeking some kind of help, they’re made feel to that the giver is better than you.

Not so with Circles allies, she said.

“Even though the people may have had different skills or assets that we didn’t have, we were able to do nurture them as well,” she said. “Not only did we learn from our allies, they learned from us.”

Elizabeth Hicks, a Circles volunteer and ally, said having the opportunity to work with a leader as an “intentional” friend and mentor enriched her life in many ways. 

“It challenged me to open my eyes and see the encompassing nature of poverty for an individual, to their spirit, their outlook and their ability to develop,” said Hick in an email.   One of the most rewarding aspects was being able to walk beside her leader and help her overcome hurdles that were problematic, she said.

“It went beyond the things you think about — learning to budget and save, learning new skills to enhance employability or helping her access resources in the community,” she said. “A lot of the hurdles are psychological or emotional.  They face issues that, for those of us not in their shoes, consider part of our normal life and learn to negotiate.”

Franklin said everyone in Circles was open and welcoming regardless of the situation. And, she didn’t feel judged.

“I feel like that’s what makes Circles different,” Franklin said.

Forming a circle around a person in poverty

Circles USA works, in part, by forming a Circle around the person in poverty.

That person is matched with allies who circle around them, along with a coach and resource team supports, according to Gena Atcher, national membership coordinator for Circles USA.

This lifts them up, offers them many levels of support, and helps them achieve S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals so they will “thrive, not just survive,” Atcher said in an email.

Circles’ goal for an individual or family is to help them reach 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline and get out of poverty.

Circles USA began in Ames, Iowa, as the Move the Mountain Leadership Center, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to find long-term solutions for reducing poverty, the program’s website said

During the 1990s, Move the Mountain developed and researched a community-led support system, and by 2001, it found that the effort was working — families were moving out of poverty for good, the site said.

The term Circles represents the relational approach of getting people off of welfare and into jobs through peer support from middle-income volunteers, the site said.

Circles USA has more than 80 locations in 22 states and parts of Canada, the site said. Circles Greenville was the first South Carolina chapter.

Judy Brown recalls hearing the Rev. Jerry Hill, former BSUMC pastor, talk about the program one Sunday in fall 2014. The concept spoke to her heart, as if God was saying “this is where I want you to be my hands and feet.”

She’s been a volunteer ever since. This past year, she became Carson Love’s Circles ally.

It was a humbling experience to be a part of Love’s journey, she said. “He is so committed to getting a business started that will serve others,” she said.

Brown made the commitment to serve as an ally as “a way to give back for the blessings I’ve been given.”

“Poverty is the root cause of so many problems within our community. Circles has given me an opportunity to better understand the barriers that people in poverty are dealing with on a daily basis,” Brown said.

Helping families become self sufficient

A Circles ally helps a family become self-sufficient, Brown said.

The leader may need help with budgeting, navigating bureaucracy, housing, learning job skills or just having a friend that supports their journey out of poverty, Brown said. An ally can give the leader a different perspective and provide resources to help as they move forward, she said.

The connections with Circles are among the specialties that impressed Tina Branham. a single mother of five children, who completed the program in June.

 “It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen or been involved in before,” she said. “They choose your ally based on personality, based on interest in what you want to do, and it’s a pretty good match. My ally was amazing.”

Branham moved to Greenville with her children, ages three to 15, in 2019. She was homeless and had no transportation of her own.

When McBee connected her to Circles, Branham was “overwhelmed with everything going on in my life,” she said. “It was a mess.”

Through Circles, Branham said, you gain a different outlook on life and managing money from point A to point B to get out of poverty.

“They connect you with credit repair people who are very diligent. They actually sit you down and go over everything,” Branham said. “They look at  your bank statements like ‘hey, you’re spending too much money on fast foods. That money could be going toward some of these bills.’”

The “real truths” released are hard to hear, Branham said, but necessary if you want to get out of poverty.

Her hope is to eventually buy a house so her children will have a place to play outdoors.  Branham, a doula, is also working to become a certified midwife. She wants to expand her business “Touch of Grace,” to add midwifery services.

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Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card? –



Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

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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’



‘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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Credit Repair Services Market to Scale New Heights as Market



Credit Repair Services

Credit Repair Services

A Latest intelligence report published by AMA Research with title “Credit Repair Services Market Outlook to 2026.A detailed study accumulated to offer Latest insights about acute features of the Global Credit Repair Services market. This report provides a detailed overview of key factors in the Credit Repair Services Market and factors such as driver, restraint, past and current trends, regulatory scenarios and technology development. A thorough analysis of these factors including economic slowdown, local & global reforms and COVID-19 Impact has been conducted to determine future growth prospects in the global market.

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Credit repair services is known as a kind of service to remove negative items from credit reports like late payments, foreclosures, liens, repossessions, and more. Credit repair normally involves fixing the bad credit in any of the way, shape or form. Credit repair is the best option if anyone is thinking about applying for finance in near future. This can make it much easier to attain the loan at the wanted rate. This will also increase the chances of being approved in the first place. The market of Credit Repair Services is mainly driven due to the escalating number of small size and large size organizations, rising focus on the safety & security related to financial documents of the company and strict norms and policies framed by government considering disclosure of the taxation and financial documents considering to the global scenario. Also, Lack of Skilled Professional is hampering the total market growth. Some of the Mandatory Norms & Policies framed by Governments related to the disclosure of Taxation and Financial Documents are creating lucrative growth opportunities for market growth.

Major Players in This Report Include,
Lexington Law (United States), (United States),Sky Blue Credit Repair (United States),The Credit People (United States),Experian PLC (Ireland),Ovation (United States),MyCreditGroup (United States),Veracity Credit Consultants (United States),MSI Credit Solutions (United States),The Credit Pros (United States),Pyramid Credit Repair (United States)

Keep yourself up-to-date with latest market trends and changing dynamics due to COVID Impact and Economic Slowdown globally. Maintain a competitive edge by sizing up with available business opportunity in Credit Repair Services Market various segments and emerging territory.

Market Trends:
• Personalization in the Credit Repair Services

Market Drivers:
• A Growing Number of Large Size and Small Size Organizations
• Rising Focus on Safety & Security-Related To Company’s Financial Documents

Market Opportunities:
• Mandatory Norms & Policies Related To Disclosure of Taxation and Financial Documents Creating Lucrative Growth Opportunities

The Global Credit Repair Services Market segments and Market Data Break Down are illuminated below:
by Application (Private, Enterprise), Service Mode (Online, Offline)

Credit Repair Services the manufacturing cost structure analysis of the market is based on the core chain structure, engineering process, raw materials and suppliers. The manufacturing plant has been developed for market needs and new technology development. In addition, Credit Repair Services Market attractiveness according to country, end-user, and other measures is also provided, permitting the reader to gauge the most useful or commercial areas for investments. The study also provides special chapter designed (qualitative) to highlights issues faced by industry players in their production cycle and supply chain. However overall estimates and sizing, various tables and graphs presented in the study gives and impression how big is the impact of PANDEMIC.

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Geographically World Credit Repair Services markets can be classified as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa and Latin America. North America has gained a leading position in the global market and is expected to remain in place for years to come. The growing demand for Credit Repair Services markets will drive growth in the North American market over the next few years.

Report Highlights:
• Comprehensive overview of parent market& substitute market
• Changing market dynamics in the industry (COVID & Economic Impact Analysis)
• In-depth market segmentation (Trends, Growth with Historical & Forecast Analysis)
• Recent industry trends and development activity
• Competitive landscape (Heat Map Analysis for Emerging Players & Market Share Analysis for Major Players along with detailed Profiles)

Strategic Points Covered in Table of Content of Global Credit Repair Services Market:
• Chapter 1 – Executive Summary
• Chapter 2 – COVID-19 Impacts on Credit Repair Services Market
• Chapter 3 – Credit Repair Services Market – Type Analysis
• Chapter 4 – Credit Repair Services Market – Application/End-User Analysis
• Chapter 5 – Credit Repair Services Market – Geographical Analysis
• Chapter 6 – Credit Repair Services Market – Competitive Analysis
• Chapter 7 – Company Profiles
• Chapter 8 – Credit Repair Services Industry Analysis
• Chapter 9 – Industrial Chain, Downstream Buyers, and Sourcing Strategy
• Chapter 10 – Marketing Strategy Analysis
• Chapter 11 – Report Conclusion and Key Insights
• Chapter 12 – Research Approach and Methodology

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Key questions answered
• Who are the Leading key players and what are their Key Business plans in the Credit Repair Services market?
• What are the key concerns of the five forces analysis of the Credit Repair Services market?
• What are different prospects and threats faced by the dealers in the Credit Repair Services market?
• What possible measures players are taking to overcome and stabilize the situation?

Thanks for reading this article; you can also get individual chapter wise section or region wise report version like North America, Middle East, Africa, Europe or LATAM, Asia.

Craig Francis (PR & Marketing Manager)
AMA Research & Media LLP
Unit No. 429, Parsonage Road Edison, NJ
New Jersey USA – 08837
Phone: +1 (206) 317 1218
[email protected]

About Author:
Advance Market Analytics is Global leaders of Market Research Industry provides the quantified B2B research to Fortune 500 companies on high growth emerging opportunities which will impact more than 80% of worldwide companies’ revenues.
Our Analyst is tracking high growth study with detailed statistical and in-depth analysis of market trends & dynamics that provide a complete overview of the industry. We follow an extensive research methodology coupled with critical insights related industry factors and market forces to generate the best value for our clients. We Provides reliable primary and secondary data sources, our analysts and consultants derive informative and usable data suited for our clients business needs. The research study enables clients to meet varied market objectives a from global footprint expansion to supply chain optimization and from competitor profiling to M&As.

This release was published on openPR.

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