We received the following message from a NACA member who recently closed on her home.  (By the way, she works for one of the nation’s largest banks.)


From: L_______.Michael@__________.com
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:21 PM
To: Frances Epps <fepps@naca.com>
Subject: Testimony


Hello Frances,


Below is my testimony



It was in the month of July while renewing my lease, an exercise I’d repeated numerous times over the past decade, that I decided it was a time to make change in my life. Like many, the economic turmoil in 2008 caused significant impact to me financially and instilled a sense of mistrust in the practices and policies of financial institutions.  My goal was to identify an institution, the right financial institution, who is truly dedicated to their client, providing services as well educating them in all areas of the financial spectrum.


I consider myself a disciplined person who manages finances well while open to learning better money management and expenditure practices.  After spending numerous hours looking at different options, I came across NACA.  Truthfully, I was initially skeptical.  Like many I reviewed “google reviews” versus reviewing the NACA’s mission and vision statements.  My friends, family, coworkers were unable to give me the level of understanding about this experience I sought, therefore I signed up for a seminar. It required a two month wait to attend. To support my goal of being diligent in gaining understanding options and programs offered I set a timeline of one year to complete the process


Following the seminar, I was scheduled to meet with Ms. Wilkins in October. During that time, I read the booklet, collected the necessary documents for review and went for my two hour meeting. My counselor, Ms. Wilkins, was very gracious and helpful, entering all the necessary documentation in the system.  I was very excited when she advised that I was very close to “A Go” for a review. I had to gather a few documents which took an additional two months for me to gather. She was patient and always smiling whenever we met in person or by phone. She has become my number one person on my speed dial.  I made myself available to her at any time because of her willingness to help; she always cleared her schedule whenever I needed her time.


Ms. Wilkins became my friend, my advocate and also the person who questioned me about my activity whenever I used one of my credit cards. Admittedly sometimes it made me very uncomfortable. I am forty years old have lived all over the world and had never been in a position that required me to explain my spending activity. It was an adjustment, however this process and Ms. Wilkins’ partnership helped me to understand financial responsibility and awareness.  Now I am more aware of when I pull a credit card from my wallet and use for an emotional purpose; there is a pause and I ask myself similar questions to those Ms. Wilkins would ask.  I’ve developed from her collaboration guidance, help and stronger financial awareness.  I thank her for guiding me there though an uneasy adjustment for me personally.


December 2015 became my life changing and defining month.  Ms. Wilkins phoned me and I answered up immediately. I could hear in her voice the ‘smile’.  She is about to tell me what I have dreamt about since July of 2015. I was approved for a loan!  Suddenly the obstacles, personal privacy challenges and worry I had to overcome disappeared in the three minutes of our conversation. Her excitement matched my own because together we’d accomplished this life goal together. I cannot begin to explain the emotion encompassed in those three minutes.


As part of my next steps, I attended another workshop and met my future real estate agent, Ms. Thompson.  The next person who would usher me through a defining moment in my life, though I had no idea at the time.  We set up an informal meeting and unknown to her, I was scouting for a person who would make this process magic and I did not need to scout further.  Ms. Thompson is among the most thoughtful, resourceful, talented and knowledgeable persons I have ever known. I gave her the parameters of ‘my’ dream house and being all she is, showed me that my efforts in financial efficiency offered me even more that I thought I deserved. She worked endless hours, often while traveling, always informative about upcoming news. There were late night email exchanges, all so I maintained a pulse on the marker and awareness of any possible deals.  Having been a resident of Charlotte only 3 years, the initial house she found… admittedly I had some skepticism.  My knowledge of locations were limited to where I lived and worked.  She showed me a house and my initial reaction showed on my face I’m sure.  I wasn’t overly excited but she knew it was a house I had to see.   There were other viewing that day.  I came home…so many decisions to make so I did what I knew to do – Google Searches –  reviewing the vicinity… picturing myself in the house… reading everything I could find on the internet. I was confused. Sleep was an impossibility.  At 7:30 am I received a text from Ms. Thompson, phoned her back and said, let’s make an offer.


From that point on, everything is history. She did all of the leg work, while I opened my checkbook and wrote checks to every possible inspection NACA request. She has worked countless hours on behalf of me to make this transition smooth as possible. In March of 2016, I was asked to come to the office to close on my house – literally dream house. NACA and the staff are among the very best in this business area. They are working incredibly hard for people who have had challenges in the past and who have the commitment and drive to overcome them.


I feel their hard work should be rewarded for the following reasons:

  • They teach clients how to change poor finance management
  • They encourage clients to dream big
  • They give back to communities
  • Most importantly, they guide their clients to a financially stable environment allowing them to truly live and enjoy life.


I confess, I was skeptical but meeting my underwriter and real estate agent was the best thing in my life. Both ladies cared about me, helped me to overcome obstacles and taught me to be a better giver to others. I am fully committed to being an advocate of NACA resources, attending and volunteering at workshops for future buyers and telling to my friends and others about this incredible nonprofit organization focused on community in every way.  I try to provide my experience, informing them, it is not an easy process, you will have obstacles to overcome and questions that may appear invasive.  I also share that from those challenges that I am a much better steward of my personal finances, appreciative and grateful for NACA’s  amazing team, who are always available to assist.


From bottom of my heart, thank you Ms. Wilkins and Ms. Thompson for working countless hour to help me purchase my home. I look forward living where I can share my happiness, serenity and love with my friends and family.


Best Regards

Ms. Michael





By TTrumble

Online Operations Team and Forum Administrator for NACA. Based in the NACA National Counseling Center in Charlotte, NC.

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