Financial literacy : path to homeownership

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Southern New Hampshire University
Financial Literacy: The Path to Homeownership is a Washington, D.C. based community economic development project with an aim to bring literacy, resources, financial empowerment, savings and credit management to the residents of the Ward 7 neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The problem this project is set to address is the lack of money management skills, derogatory credit and the negative impact it has in their economic lives. In this dynamic, this project aims at providing the necessary tools to community group in order to be knowledgeable in financial matters. It addresses the lack of basic financial skills, poor credit or credit issues, with a comprehensive service strategy that offers a myriad menu of services. Participants and their families are able to gain a financial education that will enable them to overcome barriers and realize an enduring escape from poverty. They will be able, as a result, to surmount many of those obstacles that make it difficult or often impossible for them to qualify for, or have access to, financing. The lack of financial stability will continue to hinder the financial abilities and economic progress of these community residents without the assistance of professional intervention. While some will still face the challenge of financial illiteracy that has become in many case multigenerational, others will benefits from an adequate education preparing them to be fully capable of navigating the financial market. This project seeks to equip its participants with money management skills; information about various saving and assets management plans, credit basics and tools to access the traditional financial institutions. The cause of the problem is that residents are low-wage earners and suffer from the lack of money management skills. The situation is a cocktail for potential financial collapse and intensifies the cycle of dependency on predatory lenders. Furthermore, these residents are unable to access products and services offered by traditional financial institutions. They are often rejected by the mainstream banking system, thereby becoming prey to unscrupulous fringed lending practices. The inability to demonstrate responsible credit history increases their chances of exploitation and inaccessibility to financing. Through a series of local neighborhood workshops, this project has managed to propound comprehensive educational modules that inform, educate and empower community residents and successfully lead them to a pathway to financial freedom and homeownership. (Author abstract)