ELL B Gets All-in-One Financial Counseling Support at Urban Upbound

by Stephanie Kalele, Donor Relations Manager

ELL B had passed Urban Upbound’s Queensbridge location a few times while in the neighborhood to care for a couple of seniors at Queensbridge Houses. Determined to rebuild her life and finances, eLL B walked into our office and asked about our financial counseling service. She was immediately enrolled in our program and scheduled to come back in a few days to meet with one of our financial counselors, Pedro Salazar.

When eLL B first met with Pedro, her finances were in disarray. An educator by trade, eLL B has not been able to find a job since the COVID-19 pandemic started. She had a hard time paying her student loan and her credit score was low. She knew she had to do something about it, but like most people, she didn’t know where to start. With Pedro’s guidance, she was able to untangle and comb through each and every one of her financial problems. “[Pedro] laid it all out. That session changed my life; he told me where to focus first. That might sound simple, but that was just what I needed,” said eLL B.

To help increase her credit score, eLL B opened an account at the Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union. One of the key products that the Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union offers is Credit Building Loan, which allows members to repair damaged credit and create a habit of saving.

After taking steps to build her credit score, eLL B moved on to her next goal. At her second appointment, Pedro walked her to our tax office, which is a 3-minute walk from our financial empowerment center in Queensbridge Houses. “As soon as I walked into the tax office, everybody was very welcoming. They didn’t judge me for not being able to file for taxes for a few years. They understood my situation,” she added.

Taking that first step towards solving complicated financial problems requires great mental power and emotional strength. Which is why after being severely depressed for 2 years, coming to Urban Upbound to start this process is a big accomplishment for eLL B. After getting her finances in shape, eLL B plans to use her teaching experience to establish her own small business where she creates curriculums and teaches multimedia production online. When she is ready to take that next step, our business innovation team will be there to help her.

Urban Upbound has continued providing New Yorkers with critical services during this difficult period. From access to financial counseling to employment readiness services, your donation makes it possible for us to serve more families. If you’d like to learn more about our impact and work, please follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) or subscribe to our newsletter.

Photos of eLL B and the seniors (Ray and Rita) that she cares for, while preparing them for a photoshoot.