Brenda came to the Syracuse FEC because she was struggling with debt and wanted to build savings. “I came to the Financial Empowerment Center because I realized that by not being a better at managing my finances, I was shortchanging myself, my descendants and my community.”  

I had been wasting money for years when I should have been debt free with a healthy amount of savings. 

With the help of her counselor, Brenda established an attainable plan for handling her debt to begin saving. “Since coming to the Financial Empowerment Center, I have reduced my (mortgage) debt by over $70,000. 

Brenda’s FEC sessions led to even more positive financial changes, including an increased credit score. “My counselor also helped me correct errors listed on my credit report that I did not know existed,” said Brenda. “Together we disputed these issues with the credit bureau and were able to raise my credit score 70 points.” 

I have increased my savings in such a big way that I have already reached one of my savings goals.  I opened a money market account and I love watching how quickly the interest accumulates with the better interest rate than you earn with a regular savings account. Brenda’s financial health is not the only thing that has improved due to the Syracuse FEC,

“I sleep better at night now that my debt has been reduced. I now have a healthy savings account and am about to look forward to my future and to building wealth and security”

Brenda hopes her friends and family will seek FEC counseling if they need it. “The Financial Empowerment Center is a safe zone that does not pass judgement on you. No matter what your circumstance is, they are there to help you make it better” said Brenda. “Knowledge is power, so get it directly from the right source. Free one-on-one financial counseling, you can’t beat it! 

Having seen positive outcomes already, Brenda plans to continue working with her FEC counselor to maintain progress for both her long-term goals. “We’ve still got work to do” said Brenda, “I’d love to be able to save for and secure a building and vehicle for my nonprofit organization. I’m grateful to have my FEC counselor as a trusted sounding board to help me support my business.”