There's a new opportunity for people in the Richmond area who need reliable transportation to get to work. Low to moderate income families can receive affordable car loans for which they normally might not qualify due to high interest rates.
Ways to Work is a national program that just made its way to Central Virginia. The idea is if you are a hard-working person, taking care of your family, and just need a push, this group wants to help.
Tamara Turner is proud to say she now has her own set of wheels.
"I don't have to depend on anyone for anything," she said.
The young, single mother admits it was challenging getting to point A to point B without transportation of her own.
"Waking up really early to catch the bus and you have to be out the house by a certain time. And if you miss the bus you have to wait for another one and by that time, you're late for work," she explained.
She applied for the Ways to Work program that just arrived to Richmond.
"It's a program that helps hard working families who are having some credit challenges with a vehicle loan whether it's for repair or for purchase," explained manager Shanika McClelland.
McClelland says it's not about giving a hand-out. In fact, recipients are required to attend workshops to help with money management.
"In that curriculum, we talk about the importance of saving, why it's important to use credit with caution…41 % of our applicants that come through our program are no longer dependent on cash assistance," she explained.
It worked for Turner, who -- by the way -- is a recent VCU graduate. Now when she clocks in everyday for her patient care job at the medical center, she's confident that she's a lot more self-sufficient.
"Just reliable transportation to have a secure job or go to an interview or anything," Turner said.
Those who qualify for a loan can get an interest rate no greater than 8% and monthly payments no higher than $250. Program managers will review qualified applicant's wages to determine the monthly disposable income. Then, they can calculate the loan amount at a low interest rate.
For more information, click here.
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