The Community College Credit Building InitiativeGain Financial Knowledge, Feel More Confident and Financially Secure
Save Money – Prioritize Spending – Build Credit
Current Offering Free 1:1 Financial Coaching to Boston Residents Local Colleges.
(Currently Offering Free Services to Boston Residents Only)
Join Us at Our Next Webinar
Register for Webinar
(Webinars are open to all students, faculty, and staff on campus)
By working with a financial coach you will have the opportunity to tackle:
» Identify & pursue financial goals.
» Review your budget.
» Open a savings account.
» Open a credit card if you haven’t yet.
» Review your credit report and scores.
» Shop carefully for auto loans.
» Learn the basics of home-buying.
» Take advantage of financial perks at work.
» Develop sound money management skills.
» Access resources to help increase financial stability.
» Find strategies to increase cash flow, wealth, and credit scores.
» Become more financially resilient.
» Reach your potential!
This workshop will help you to start thinking and taking action to improve your financial skills and gaining control of your finances.
October 5, 2021| 1:00 pm * For Boston Area College Students Only
This webinar will help you to identify financial strategies to build, improve, and maintain your credit.
October 12, 2021 | 1:00 pm | * For Boston Area College Students Only
This webinar will help you to understand all of your options so you can make a better financial decision.
October 19, 2021 | 1:00 pm | * For Boston Area College Students Only
This webinar will help you to identify which financial strategies are best for you when entering the workforce.
October 26, 2021 | 1:00 pm | * For Boston Area College Students Only
About Us – The Community College Credit Building Initiative (CCCBI)
The Community College Credit Building Initiative, is a partner of Boston Builds Credit. CCCBI offers credit building services to college-aged residents of Boston. This initiative focuses on providing services to young adults attending local colleges such as Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and Roxbury Community College (RCC). The goal of the initiative is to help participants learn the basics of credit. As a result, they can improve their financial skills and gain control of their finances.
How The Community College Credit Budiling Initiative Works
CCCBI financial empowerment coaches are here to help you with your financial needs. This includes navigating the pandemic, building savings, budgeting, and of course, credit building. Coaches are here to share ideas, guidance, and to help you understand your options.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
We’re thrilled that you want to work with us! Here are a few ways to check if you’re a good fit for a coach:
- Are you a Boston resident?
- Do you want to save more?
- Do you want to learn about credit?
- Are you struggling with financial institutions or debt?
- Do you want to obtain financial security?
If you qualify, fill out this application and we’ll be in touch!
For Community Partners
As a professor at an institution partnered with CCCBI, you can refer Boston resident students to our services and coaches, or register them directly yourself. Our goal is to help you identify students that would be a good fit and provide you with options to help them.
Do You Know a Student that Would Benefit?
If you have a student that:
- Is a Boston resident?
- Is struggling with savings or debt?
- Wants to learn about or build credit?
- Is struggling to support themselves or their family?
- Wants to find financial security?
You can send them this link, or register the student yourself at:
Mother of two Stephanie didn’t know much about credit. For years, her credit scored hovered around 500, and her plans to pursue higher education and buy a home felt out of reach.
“Everything in America is built on credit,” she observed, “like buying a house, getting a job; even If you have money, you can’t do those things without good credit.”
Stephanie came to the U.S. from Haiti at age 16 with her father and siblings. “It wasn’t easy living with family, working, and later raising my daughters,” she said. “It took me a long time to go back to school.”
Eventually she enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College and began her studies remotely while working.
But saving money was a challenge. When the pandemic hit hard in Spring 2020, Stephanie had to leave her job to care for her kids, ages 10 and 12. “I wasn’t able to work because school shut down and my kids were at home.”
Fortunately, Stephanie discovered the Community College Credit Building Initiative (CCCBI), a program of Boston Builds Credit that helps Bostonians at local community colleges learn the basics of credit, improve their financial skills and gain control of their finances. She enrolled, hoping to learn more about savings and credit building. “I never had anyone to teach me about credit,” she said.
Enter financial coach Julie Demusz of Jewish Vocational Services, a Boston Builds Credit partner organization, who connected with Stephanie through CCCBI.
“Julie helped me make savings a priority. I learned to stop spending on things that didn’t really matter,” she said.
Julie helped Stephanie gain access to a program that enabled her to pay off outstanding utility bills. Reducing her debt allowed her to procure a credit card, a financial tool she’d never had before. Over eight months working with her coach, Stephanie saved an additional $5,000 in her savings account, kept credit card balances low, paid bills on time, and increased her credit score from 646 to 764!
“I never thought I’d have a credit score of 760,” said Stephanie. “My goal is to buy a house, but I never thought I’d be able to because even when a had a good full-time job, my credit was bad.”
The information and strategies she acquired while working with her financial coach has given Stephanie a new outlook on her future and the way she approaches her finances. She said she aims to maintain her good credit by making payments on time and using her credit card wisely and to continue saving money by focusing on her spending priorities.
“Now I’m hopeful,” said Stephanie, who will graduate from Bunker Hill this summer and transfer to Lesley University, where she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“Working with [financial coach] Julie was the best decision I ever made.”
Jeremiyah was 18 when he got his first credit card. “I knew nothing about credit at the time. I was thinking I can just swipe.” It quickly became a habit. When he maxed out his first card, he got another, figuring he’d pay it back eventually. “I didn’t understand the effects of missed payments and debt on my credit.”
Jerimyah’s credit card debt grew, and his credit score suffered. When he began looking into his dream of investing in real estate, he quickly discovered that his poor credit would be a barrier to getting a mortgage.
“I put myself in a financial hole,” he said. “I didn’t know how to manage my money.”
Jermiyah knew he had to get his financial house in order if he wanted to pursue his real estate dreams.
He was participating in Year Up at Roxbury Community College, earning college credits and gaining real-world work experience though an internship in banking, when he connected with financial coach Julie Demusz through the Community College Credit Building Initiative, a collaboration led by United Way of Massachusetts Bay, JVS-Boston and Inquilinos Borricuas en Accion with funding from the City of Boston Community Development Block Grant program. Together Julie and Jerimyah reviewed his financial circumstances and discussed his goals: to create a budget, increase savings and improve his credit. After learning the fundamentals of credit and reviewing his credit report, Jerimyah paid off his credit card debt.
“It made things a lot easier, putting everything in front of my face,” he said. “It gave me clarity about what needed to be done to get results. That really got me started.”
Within just three months, Jerimyah’s credit score rose from 593 to 666.
Paying off debt and improving his credit has helped him build savings. According to Jerimyah, he had only about $100 when he first met with Julie. Now he has a rainy-day fund and is exploring opportunities for investment.
“I was able to get really comfortable and confident with savings,“ he said. “Working with a financial coach allowed me to understand how money works and what I can do with it.”
Jerimyah is now putting his newly acquired financial knowledge to work as a life insurance agent and a part-time employee for two financial institutions. Most exciting of all, he’s collaborating with family members to buy a two-family house that they’ll convert into an income property. He credits much of his success to his financial coach and credit-building experience.
“Through this experience, I’ve gained a lot of what I needed, to not only know about using credit as a tool, but also learning more about money, looking into interest, looking for ways to save.”
“If I had bad credit—I wouldn’t have any of the things I do now. Having good credit will position me to succeed.”