Credit coaching aims to make CN citizens self-sufficient
BY KEVIN SCRAPPER
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Historically, the American dream involves homeownership and financial security. However, for many, this is becoming harder to achieve and for those with low credit scores it is nearly impossible. Luckily, the Cherokee Nation’s Self-Sufficiency Program offers credit coaching to help its citizens reach financial stability and self-sufficiency.
Financial coach Terry Crow said financial challenges can be as different as the people who experience them, so she adapts the program’s teaching material to fit each client’s need.
“We tailor it to the areas and the places we go. When you go out and try to talk to people, they look at it as a double negative because, most of the time, their credit is not something they want to deal with and it’s hopeless,” she said. “It’s like, ‘you’re just going to tell me my credit’s bad and I can’t afford to fix it,’ but the thing is credit is a way of life and it’s showing them hope. If they’re in the negative, you may not be able to work on your credit yet, but let’s get you out of the negative, then, let’s start on it. We’re here with you to walk you through it.”
Crow’s instruction focuses on more than functional budget consultation, extending to nurture the spirit of clients through compassionate understanding. She said she’s experienced financial hardship and reiterates that financial challenges emerge for everyone, but the attitude and strategy with which someone approaches the situation determine the outcome.
“My main thing is to help people understand that nobody’s perfect and we live in an economy and society where it’s all about the score,” Crow said. “It’s all about credit and money, and if you feel like your credit is an issue then you kind of walk around with your head hung down and you feel like there’s no help. Even if you’re in risk of foreclosure, we do foreclosure prevention. Don’t feel like you’re alone, because there are people here, that care, that want to help.”
Self-Sufficiency Counselor Rita Whaler agrees with Crow and applies the same approach.
She said trends in the program emphasize awareness and empowerment of the client in creating financial freedom and stability that fits with their budget specific needs.
“Credit coaching is counseling with people, making them aware of their spending, letting them realize that there is a way to control their spending, watching them track their spending over a period of time, (and) putting them on a livable doable budget,” she said. “You know everyone’s budgets are different, because everyone’s spending, incomes and lifestyles are different. You have to put on different hats with each client, because everyone is different.”
Because credit and finances are sensitive subjects, Whaler reassures clients that their financial information obtained during the counseling sessions remain confidential. She also said there is no time limit on sessions or predetermined number of sessions a client must attend. She said the goal isn’t met until the client is set on their path to self-sufficiency.
In addition to the individual credit counseling, the program offers instruction on saving and spending, as well as couponing and creative Christmas budgeting. Classes range from 30 minutes to two hours and vary by location.
CN citizen Jerry Freeman said he’s participated in the savings and spending classes and that they helped him get a control on his finances.
“I got started in March. It’s had a big impact,” said Freeman. “It’s taught me how to save money. It’s taught me how to budget my money. Its taught me not be scared to take that big step into homeownership and they’ve got a lot of good programs. I’m really excited about it.”
With his finances in check, he said he looks forward to owning a home again, this time more informed.
“About four years ago, I did own a home. We got into a little situation where we had to refinance. Well going through that refinancing, there were a lot of things I didn’t see,” he said. “They ended up jacking our house payment up so high that we couldn’t afford it. So I had to file bankruptcy and the whole mess that incurs. I’m ready to do the homeownership now. With this program, I know I can’t fail.”
For more information, call 918-453-5336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
918-453-5000 ext. 5903Self-Sufficiency ServicesMortgage Assistance Program
Not only can Cherokee Nation citizens build and repair their credit and reach personal financial goals, but with the Mortgage Assistance Program, qualified citizens can also get down payment assistance up to $15,000. Homebuyers Education
The Homebuyers Education course helps CN citizens learn how to shop for a home, understand mortgages, credit reports and foreclosure prevention. Attendees will learn common terminology associated with home buying, costs associated with home ownership and how to avoid financial crises.iSave
The tribe’s Individual Development Account (IDA) and Youth Individual Development Account (YIDA) programs are designed to assist CN citizens save money and achieve long-term financial goals. For every $1 a citizen saves, IDA will match it from $1-$3. Credit Coaching
Credit coaching is available in a private setting to help CN citizens repair their credit and reach financial goals. A credit coach will help develop an action plan to reduce debt, repair credit and increase income.Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University
The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University is a 13-week course designed to help families get out and stay out of debt and build wealth. It provides information on how to control income to reach financial goals.
For more information on these services, call 918-453-5336 or email email@example.com
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎤᏅᏌ ᏧᎾᏤᎵ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏚᏁᏅᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ.
ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂᏃᎾ, ᎤᏂᎪᏓ, ᎯᎠ ᎠᏍᏓᏱᏳ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏓᏂᏅᏍᎬ ᎨᏥᏚᏗ ᏝᏊ ᏫᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ. ᎣᏏᏊᏃ ᎢᎩ, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᎾᏌ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎨᏥᏚᏗ ᎨᎨᏲᏗ ᎬᏥᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏭᏂᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ.
ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏗᎬᏲᎲᏍᎦ Terry Crow ᎤᏛᏅ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎲ ᏱᎧᏃᎮᏟ ᎠᏂᎾᏰᏍᎪ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎨᏐᎢ, ᏃᏊᏃ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎦᏁᏍᎪ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏬᎵᎦ ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫᎭ ᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᏙᏥᏁᎪ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ. ᏳᎦᎷᏥ ᎠᎴ ᏯᏁᎶᏓᏂ ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ, ᏓᎾᎧᏂᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎨᏐ, ᎤᎪᏛ, ᏕᎨᏥᏚᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᏳᎾᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏳᏍᏗ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏛᏗ ᏱᎨᏐ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ. “ᎯᎠ ᏄᏍᏗ, ‘ᏗᏍᎩᏃᎯᏎᎵ ᎥᎩᏚᏗ Ꮭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎦᎬᏁᏗ ᏱᎩ,’ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏓᏚᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏗ ᎪᎯᏴ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎨᏐ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎦᎬᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎢᏳᏃ ᏃᏒᎾ ᏱᎩ, ᎡᎵᏊ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎦᎬᏗ ᏱᎨᏐ ᏗᎨᏥᏚᏗᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎢᏗᏅᎪᎢ ᎾᎿᏂ, ᎢᏓᎴᎾ. ᎠᎭᏂ ᎣᏥᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎩᎪᎵᏰᏗᎢ.”
Crow’s ᏕᎨᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏃᏢᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎤᏃᏟᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎦᏥᏃᎯᏎᎲᎢ. ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Ꮓ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏍᏓᏱ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎵᏙᎰ ᎠᎾᎢᏒ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏛ ᎠᎦᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗᏃ ᏫᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏂᎪᏩᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᎰᏍᎪᎢ.
“ᎤᏍᎪᎵᏴ ᎾᏍᎩᎦᏥᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏃᏟᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎨᎶ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏕᎭ ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᎾᏓᏅᏛ ᎯᎳᏅ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎭ,” Crow ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᎾᏓᏅᏛ ᎥᏗᏓᏚᏗᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏱᎩ ᏃᏊ Ꮭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᏚᎾᏓᏅᏙᎢ Ꮭ ᎢᎸᏢ ᏱᎦᏲᎩᏍᏕᎳ ᏚᎾᏓᏅᏙᎢ. ᎾᏍᏆ ᎤᎾᏓᎩᎡᏗ ᏂᏄᏍᏗ ᎥᎦᏁᎸ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᏙᏥᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ. ᏝᏍᏗ ᏨᏌ ᏰᎵᏍᎨᏍᏗ, ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎭᏂ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᎾᏓᏍᏕᎵ, ᎠᎴ ᏳᎾᏚᎵ ᎤᎾᏓᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ.”
ᎤᏅᏌ-ᏰᎵᏊ ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎩ Rita Whaler ᎠᎪᎢᏓᏁᎰ Crow ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎦᎾᏄᎪᏫᏍᎪᎢ.
ᎤᏛᏅᏃ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎦᏂᎳᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎨᏥᏚ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏟᎵᎸᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎢᎦ ᎦᎷᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ.
“ᏕᎨᏥᏚᏍᎬ ᏗᎨᏲᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ, ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ, ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗᎢᎦ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᎪᎯᏓᏅ ᎨᏒ, (ᎠᎴ) ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎢᎦᏅᏔ ᎾᏂᎥ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎨᏐ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏃᏢᏍᎬᎢ, ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏂᎥ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎨᏐ, ᎦᎷᎬᏃ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᏁᎲ ᏧᏓᎴᎾᎢ ᎨᏐᎢ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏗᎵᏍᏇᏚᏍᏗ ᎨᏐᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫᎭᎢ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᏓᎮᏅ.”
ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏚᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎩᎶ ᏳᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏃᎮᏗᎢ, Whaler ᏕᎧᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᏧᏟᏃᎮᏔᏅ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᎾᏅᏙᎢ. ᏝᏃ ᎠᏎᎸᏊ ᏱᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏓᎾᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ. ᏝᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏙᏛ ᏱᎨᏐ ᎬᏂ ᏳᏃᎵᏥ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏯᎾᏛᏁᎯ ᏱᏅᎵᏍᏔᏂ.
ᎧᏉᏓ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎨᏥᏚᏗᎢ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏢᎢ, ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᏕᏫ, ᎾᏍᎩᏍᏊ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ. ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎠᏃ ᏦᏍᎪ ᏳᏔᏬᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿᏃ ᏔᎵ ᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎨᏐᎢ.
CN ᎨᎳ Jerry Freeman ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏙᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏥᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏅᏱ ᎧᎸ. ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎠ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Freeman. “ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎠ ᎠᏆᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ. ᎢᏗᏋᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᎪᎠ. ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎠ ᎠᎦᏍᎦᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᎳᏍᎬᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏇᏅᏒ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᏢ ᏧᏂᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ. ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗᎭ.”
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏰᏓ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᏓᏅᏔ ᏃᏊ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏤᎵ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏪᏅᏒ ᏏᏊ, ᎪᎯᏃ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᎦᏔᎾᎢ.
“ᏅᎩ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᎠᏊᏌ ᎠᏇᏅᏒ ᎨᏒ. ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏓᏇᏁᎸ ᎥᎦᏚᎬᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲ , ᎤᎪᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ Ꮭ ᏯᎩᎪᎮ ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ. “ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏗᏃ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᎢᎦ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎠᏆᏈᏴᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ Ꮭ ᎡᎵ ᏱᏂᎦᏚᏁᎮᎢ. ᏃᏊᏃ ᏓᏆᎵᏍᏆᎵᏒ ᏫᎾᏋᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏚᏓᎸᎢ.
ᎠᏆᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅ ᏯᏆᏛᏗ ᎣᏪᏅᏒᎣᏪᏅᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏃᏊ. ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ, ᎠᏆᏅᏔ ᎬᎩᏄᎸᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ.” ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵᎭ, ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏎᏍᏗ 918-453-5336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org