Thanks to Stand By Me coach, Wilmington man will be a homeowner

February 15, 2023

Tom – not his real name – has worked toward home ownership for several years, and he’s about to reach that goal.  Almost four years ago, he connected with Marilyn, one of our Stand By Me financial coaches. Stand By Me offers free personal, private, one-on-one financial coaching through a partnership between local nonprofits, United Way of Delaware and the State of Delaware.

Not all clients focus on mortgage approval; some need help in budgeting or learning to save or eliminating debt, explains Marilyn, who says that frequently clients needs ongoing support staying focused, despite setbacks.

Tom admits he’s had some setbacks. This Wilmington resident has a job; he’s worked for 10 years as a service agent for a rental car company. He’s enrolled in the Wilmington Housing Authority’s first-time home buyers’ program. He’s currently living in the home he’s about to buy.

“I had a low credit score,” said Tom. “I had no idea on what direction to go. She (Marilyn) helped me out big time.”

In order to improve his score, Tom said he met with Marilyn who explained the steps he needed to follow to meet the WHA’s program criteria.

“She taught me how to spend money, to improve my ways of spending. I learned to keep a budget.  I had to eliminate the things I didn’t need,” he said.

Tom acknowledges that making these lifestyle changes required time and patience. “I’m close to closing. I have to do one more thing. I’m 52 years old. I’ve had setbacks, but Marilyn has helped me. I keep on pushing. Like they say, ‘Good things come to those who wait.’… I’m going to keep up the connection with Stand By Me. It’s a good program,” he said.

Click here to connect with one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Stand By Me coaches.

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