When she was in her 30’s, Gloria had excellent credit. “I had at least eight cards, four I never used.” Then both Gloria and her husband lost their jobs (they both worked for the same organization, which went bankrupt). Access to those credit cards was both a lifeline and an albatross. Unemployment was slow to come in, and Gloria was able to use their credit cards to stay on top of bills, while she and her husband looked for new work. Before they could get back on their feet, the credit cards were maxed out, and she couldn’t keep up with the payments. “Everything just went into default.” The stress of credit card debt led Gloria to cut up her credit cards as soon as she could.

Thirty years later, Gloria learned about Working Credit through her employer, which, having first offered the program to its clients, extended that offer to its employees. “Over the years I have gotten bits and pieces of what to do to but things had been getting worse and worse. With work and jobs not sustaining me. I always thought, ‘I make pennies—so why would I need a financial planner?” When she heard about Working Credit, Gloria thought, “why not? It’s free and I wanted to be able to sit down and focus with a person to put it all in perspective, and then help me.”

After meeting with her Working Credit counselor, Ramiro, for the last year, Gloria’s reflects on what she’s learned and what she’s been able to accomplish in rebuilding her credit. “I’m now in my 60s, and when Ramiro explained that I could get a credit card, I was skeptical. I had cut them all up 30 years ago and never got one again.” To her surprise, her score soared after she applied for and received a new credit card. Then it dropped again. “That was due to another outstanding bill. But I knew what I had to do. Make the payments on time and not use my card until I get down to 30% [balance] or below.”