ECHO Shelter in Paso Robles celebrated its first anniversary at 1134 Black Oak Road, the site of a former Motel Six.
To help clients, the ECHO Shelter in Paso Robles offers financial counseling to help people get back on their feet and work to improve their credit rating and secure permanent housing.
Marcella Rodriguez, an ECHO customer since August, told KSBY: “I recently received my first credit card in the mail here, and I’m just overwhelmed because I’ve never had a credit card and just building up my credit is going to help me in the long run.
The shelter’s clients regularly meet with a counselor to work on reducing their debt and managing their finances.
Hattie Davis said of her work with Rodriguez: “I currently have a client who is a single mom. She has a minimum income. She has just started working, but her income previously while at the shelter was her money, her help and her son, who is autistic. “
Rodriguez said: “I just want enough space for myself and my son. He wants a dog so somewhere I can have a dog thing. I think he loves puppies.
Davis begins the process by taking an inventory of the client’s debt, then they work together to establish minimum monthly payments that the client can afford.
She said: “We just started doing it because we were having issues where clients were approved for housing programs, but they weren’t approved for actual housing through management companies, for example. because their credit scores were low. “
“We talk to each other once a week and keep each other informed, post an update on my status. I’m working right now and I’m just trying to love my lightweight stable so that I can, like, put myself in a place, ”Rodriguez explained.
People with a higher credit score often find it easier to apply for and rent an apartment.
High scores make it easier to apply for a loan and get lower interest rates.
KSBY spoke with Megan Carden, a local heritage advisor, who shared tips for anyone looking to improve their credit score.
She said the factors affecting a credit score are payment history – whether someone pays their bills on time, how people use their credit, and what type of credit they have.
Carden went on to explain that people can improve their credit scores by paying their bills on time – she recommends using automated payments or setting calendar reminders for due dates, using only about 30% of a person’s credit limit and checking their score.
Carden said, “It’s also important to review your credit report annually to determine if there are any errors. Federal law allows you to obtain a free copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. ”