JumpStart Duluth, a program of Community Action Duluth, provides down-payment assistance and low-interest loans to assist in the purchase of reliable, low mileage, energy-efficient vehicles. Jumpstart is a comprehensive, long-term, asset-building program that includes a built-in savings plan and education on preventative car maintenance, car ownership, and credit repair.
Currently, there are 51 active Jumpstart loans between our two community partnering credit unions who offer interest rates from 5-5.55% for our participants in spite of low credit scores. When we initially meet participants they are sharing a vehicle, borrowing a car, riding the bus/walking to work. This is especially demanding for parents with small children. Receiving a Jumpstart car changes the experience for families when seeking to improve their education, employment and social opportunities. Applicants are highly motivated to sustain and seek additional income, as well as improve their credit report so that when they pay off their Jumpstart loan they have built enough positive history they are able to seek financing confidently and without assistance. Because of increased income and Community Action support, payoffs are highly successful; since July 2016 to present there have been nine completed Jumpstart loans with a handful more getting very close to their payoff date!
Irene Folstrom-Masayesva, came to Jumpstart motivated to work on her credit score; she was unable to get an auto loan financed through a dealership without them continually upping the down payment amount and offered her a high-risk loan with an interest rate at nearly 15%. The only way she had been able to see her kids was by borrowing a car from her landlord. Since getting her Jumpstart car she has been visiting her kids almost every weekend and has increased her hours to full time.
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