Ricardo Sullivan Finds Customized Support at the UUFCU

by Urban Upbound’s staff members

Marine Corps veteran Ricardo Sullivan was living in a shelter when the pandemic hit. He had left jail at the end of 2019 and the relocation from the shelter to a hotel near Queensbridge Houses further upended his attempts at rebuilding his life. His plans included opening a bank account, but that is not easy for returning citizens and other justice-involved people. Fortunately for him, the relocation led to his introduction to the Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union (UUFCU).

On his first visit to the UUFCU, Ricardo met Maria Lopes, one of our Member Service Representatives and a certified financial counselor. Maria was able to open an account for him and Ricardo joined the credit union. Having secured a job, Ricardo began working on building his savings. “Urban Upbound was the only institution that accepted the limited form of identification that I had,” said Ricardo.

However, the UUFCU was able to do more for him. After spending a number of years incarcerated, Ricardo needed assistance fixing his credit. After taking a credit builder loan at the UUFCU, Ricardo was able to successfully apply for a credit card at one of the commercial banks that had initially rejected him. In less than a year, with Maria’s assistance, Ricardo went from not having a credit score to a score of 689. “Ms. Lopes and Urban Upbound, as an organization, helped get me where I am today by making it possible for me to take my first step and open a bank account,” Ricardo added.

Urban Upbound has continued providing New Yorkers with critical services during this difficult period. From access to financial counseling and employment readiness services to food relief and direct cash assistance, 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.

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Urban Upbound NYC

A collection of stories around NYC’s public housing communities curated by Urban Upbound, a non-profit organization with a mission to break cycles of poverty.