Felisha Jackson, age 31, Washington, DC

Felisha lost her job at Cosi Restaurant while caring for her two children and making $432 per month car payments at 20%+ interest. She unknowingly purchased the car from a predatory lender and after her job loss, fell three months behind on payments.

Thinking she could rectify her high interest problem, Felisha reached out to a company offering to extend her warranty and a refinance deal that would reduce the interest rate and cut her monthly car payments in half. She gave the company a $300 down payment, and agreed to pay them $150 per month going forward. She then contacted her existing finance company to let them know the car was being refinanced and was informed that this was a scam and the car could not be refinanced through the faulty warranty company. With no options left, she gave the car back to the original finance company and received an $11,000 bill of the balance still owed.

Three months later, Felisha secured a job at Family Matters of Greater Washington. “To get to my new job, I had to take a bus then connect to the subway, then connect again to another bus which took an hour to finally arrive at work,” remembers Felisha. “If anything happened, it would make me late for work.” Her new job as a case aide required her to transport clients with a personal vehicle, so she had to rely on family and their schedules – for work and for errands such as grocery shopping. Her children suffered as well, not being able to participate in after-school activities due to the lack of transportation.

Felisha heard about the Ways to Work program and worked with loan officer, Gregory Armstrong, to do a monthly budget, repair her credit, gain financial knowledge, then apply for a Ways to Work loan. “I was so happy when I received a call from Gregory letting me know that I was approved for a low-interest loan through the program,” Felisha said. “I received the keys to my affordable vehicle and my life took a turn for the better!” She’s now able to make monthly car payments. She has money budgeted for repairs, if needed, and money left over each month. “Now, I am able to drive to work on-time in only 30 minutes and fulfill my job requirement of transporting clients in my own vehicle.” She’s also excited about grocery shopping on her own time, getting her children to extra-curricular activities and spending more time with friends and family.