Nicole walked down the street toward the HomeOwnership Center (HOC) at Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (NHS). She did not feel optimistic about this visit and hesitated whether to knock on the door. Fortunately, Nicole decided to give it a try and started her homeownership journey with Robin Ladouceur, HOC Coordinator.
Nicole Taylor is a single mother with 4 kids. Three years ago, she bought a 2008 Saturn Vue from JD Byrider, an Auto Loan admin she heard about through radio ads. Nicole chose to trust this dealership. It wasn’t until Nicole almost finished paying off her remaining balance and asked for the title of the vehicle that she found out JD Byrider had embezzled her car payments. “I don’t treat people that way,” Nicole explained, “and I don’t expect anyone to treat me that way.” She was frustrated.
This fraudulent activity had put Nicole in a challenging position because her credit report reflected a loan of $9000 for her car, which she had already paid off. Meanwhile, Nicole has always wanted to purchase a home for her kids and a poor credit report hindered the path to her homeownership goal. She was facing other financial struggles as well.
When Nicole got in touch with Robin, she acted immediately. “Robin is like my saving grace. She brought me her professional aspect and changed my point of view about a lot of things,” said Nicole. She understood that the biggest battle was to repair her credit score, which is possible. Nicole started looking for evidence that could prove her innocence. “I pulled up email receipts; I pulled up bank receipts; I pulled up police reports. I went to the area that they said was out of business. I was a detective because I need this off my report.” Nicole succeeded by advocating for herself with the State’s Attorney General. She was able to have the negative credit information from JD Byrider completely stricken from her report.
After fixing her credit, Nicole feels “back to the game.” Her next steps are to manage her budget, set up saving accounts, and take the homeownership workshop organized by the HOC in May. “I’m ready. My credit has been steadily going up, which is great, and it’s far better than when I started. By May, I should definitely be ready to take the class,” said Nicole.
“Robin is the best. She gives me so much encouragement. I know that if it wasn’t for her, I don’t think that I would be this far,” Nicole appreciated the help from Robin. She also wants to share her story and encourage more people like her, who feel frustrated with their homeownership goals.
“There are plenty of things that I would get knocked down, but what I want the most is a steady home for my children,” Nicole said. “Stay encouraged. Know your purpose and what you’re doing it for, and don’t let anything hinder you from what you want.”