Car loan program giving some families second chance

April 24, 2013 4:13:06 AM PDT
Without a car, getting to a job on time can be difficult and managing a busy family next to impossible. But for those without good credit or no credit at all, affordable transportation can be out of reach. Now, one Houston agency is trying to change that.

"It's my second chance," car owner Martha Castro said.

Before Castro got her 2004 Saturn Vue, she was living in a shelter with her four children and struggling to improve her life with a car that was constantly breaking down.

Then Castro heard about the Ways to Work car loan program.

"In Houston, a vehicle is not a want; it is a need," she said.

For the last two years, Family Services of Greater Houston has been helping single parents get low-interest loans for reliable transportation.

Since getting her pre-owned car in November, Castro has moved into an apartment and gotten a promotion.

"If you find yourself in a situation where you need a boost me up or someone to help you out, Ways to Work is the way to go," Castro said.

Now Family Services of Greater Houston is expanding the Ways to Work program.

"We are looking for hard-working individuals that cannot get a loan from a bank or a credit union and that need a way to work," said Deidre Johnson with Family Services of Greater Houston.

Applicants you must be Harris County residents, currently employed and have worked consistently for the past six months. A family of four can not earn more than $44,800, must prove they can repay a $6,000 loan and enroll in financial counseling.

"They do work very closely with a financial coach with focused financial education," Johnson said.

If you are interested in the program, you can call Family Services of Greater Houston at 713-861-4849 or go to the agency's website.

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