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Ivelisse Morales buys her first home
Ivelisse, who endured domestic violence, multiple threats of eviction, dependence on emergency assistance programs and a house fire that left her and her two kids homeless less than one year ago, now purchased her first home. This is her story, in her own words:
“To be honest, never in my wildest dreams would I think a single mother of two working two jobs could be in this position. But when I promised my son on Christmas morning that I would buy him and his baby sister a house, I planned to keep that promise regardless of the obstacles I faced.
I asked myself what would be the first step to buy a house. In my opinion it should be a law that Schools should teach our children at a young age the importance of having good credit. I knew my credit was terrible from past mistakes so I began to work on it with a private credit rebuilding company. I was able to get my first credit card and start rebuilding my credit slowly and in February 2018, I signed up with Way Finders to take the orientation, the first time home buyers class and financial courses.
I remember sitting down with Araceli Rivera, my housing counselor, in March. I came in with my notebook filled with questions and remember surprising her with how well prepared I was. I told her briefly of my story and why buying a house was so important to me. I refused to break another promise to my kids. I will admit that I left that meeting feeling a little discouraged because the work I had done on my credit meant I had no credit/ FICO score, so her advice was to stay on track and keep paying my credit cards on time and to keep saving money for my down payment.
On June 19, as I was at work finishing up my shift, I was watching local morning news. It was about 6:45 A.M. and I all I saw was my apartment complex was on fire. My phone started immediately ringing, my father was scared that the kids and I were at home.
On June 26 I knew I had to do something. So I went to one of the banks that my housing counselor had referred me to. I met with loan officer, who listened to my story, and, while working, ultimately pre-approved me for a mortgage loan that afternoon."
Araceli continued to work with Ivelisse to improve her credit and maintain a sustainable and realistic action plan and on August 26th Ivelisse closed on her new home. Araceli played an integral part in ensuring that Ivelisse had a safe, stable, and nurturing home for herself and her children.