When a family walks through the door of CARes, they meet with a Financial Coach and are given a spending tracker to be used for thirty days. After tracking their spending, they come back to meet with the Financial Coach and work to create a first draft household budget. If they complete the first phase, the family is invited to attend a Basics in Personal Finances workshop. This workshop is required to be awarded a car loan. After learning the basics of personal finance, the family once again meets with the Financial Coach to finalize their family budget, and discuss their credit. Applicants are encouraged to save the minimum requirement of a $300 down-payment needed to receive a CARes Project loan.
Among those impacted are Trampus and Laura Keen. When Laura acquired a car through a CARes loan, she was able to get a job within a week of the car purchase, allowing her to double the family’s income. Along with their car, Laura and her family will participate in a program that includes financial literacy courses, budgeting skills training, and credit counseling. Not only does CARes offer short term assistance, they make sure the Car Ownership Program offers a long-term opportunity to teach financial skills to customers and set them up for success.
Last year, The CARes Project reported that four vehicle purchases were made with approved loans. Two of the clients experienced an average of 30% increase in household income directly attributable to having reliable transportation. In one case, a single mom was able to gain better employment in the healthcare field because the reliable transportation allowed her increased mobility. Another client was able to return to the community college to continue her studies because of reliable transportation!