When Dashall House walked into LEDC in September 2011, improving her credit score over the next seven months was her ticket to making her dream of homeownership a reality in Southeast Washington DC.
A mother of two, Dashall had tried to live with her husband and two sons – one six, the other 15 – in a one-bedroom apartment. Soon, she realized she was paying too much for too little.
“I just felt more comfortable owning my own home – to show my kids that you can come out of anything,” Dashall says.
But when Dashall applied for the DC Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), her credit score was too low to qualify. To improve her credit, LEDC housing counselor Walda Yon referred Dashall to LEDC’s financial capability services – financial coaching on topics including credit and budgeting paired with access to safe financial products including secured credit cards.
Four months after applying for a secured card, her score improved 81 points. Adopting sound financial practices, she maintained a minimum balance while actively disputing and resolving old debts and collections on her credit reports.
“I felt awesome,” Dashall says. “The opportunity to get my house was my fuel - getting my kids out of the situation I was in, getting my kids stability and a roof over their head – that was my fuel.”
With a better credit score, she qualified for HPAP, received 16 hours of housing counseling, and moved into her new home in August 2012.
“There are no words to describe it …” Dashall said, recalling her persistence to support her family during difficult times. “For once, I had a sense of purpose.”