Before Working Credit, Dunia understood how important having good credit is, and had tried on her own a few times to improve her credit scores. Yet every time she did, she struggled. “When I heard about Working Credit through my employer, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), I thought, let me try [this]. I never thought about reaching out for help before, even though I knew it was important.”
Because BCH offers the program as part of their suite of employee benefits, Dunia was able to sign up for Working Credit’s signature 45-minute credit building workshop. “I learned things about credit that I didn’t know, like how important it is to use credit but keep my credit card balances below 30% or lower.” The fact that the program was free to her was a “huge bonus.” When offered the opportunity to participate in one-on-one counseling and coaching in November 2021—also at no cost to her—Dunia was ready to tackle her credit once and for all!
“I love the way my counselor, Jim, explains things. When I first started, he asked me lots of questions and listened to my goals. He let me know what was on my credit report and what I needed to do to increase my score.” In that first meeting, Jim and Dunia worked on budgeting and savings strategies and discussed plans for her to pay down her credit card. Since then, Dunia has met with Jim monthly. According to Dunia, that accountability has made a big difference. She is paying down the balances on two credit cards (but still keeps them active by making small regular purchases that she then pays off), established emergency savings, and is intentional about her expenses. “Now every time I buy stuff I think twice—I want to buy a house in the future!”
Asked what she would tell her younger self about credit, Dunia mused “I wish I had known about this [Working Credit] then. I came from another country and so I didn’t know the system. I would tell my younger self, ‘don’t get a lot of credit cards, and if you do, try to manage them well early on. ”Today Dunia is confident about her credit. “I am so proud of myself, I never thought I could have a 700 [credit] score. When I reach the score I want, I know I’ll be able to maintain it.”