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After 11 years of renting, Francesann closed on her first home in July.

Francessann Lowery

Francesann Lowery always dreamed of owning a home—a place she could call her very own. After 11 years of renting, she closed on her first home in July. She learned of Wayne Metro by reading a flyer at the Taylor Human Services building advertising the agency’s free tax program. Instead of paying the $300 it normally cost her to have a local for-profit office to file her taxes, she decided to get her taxes done for free by Wayne Metro’s tax team. Through the tax program, she was introduced to Angela Aaron-Benifield, the Financial Empowerment Center Manager and learned more about the importance of having a stable savings and good credit.

Francesann later entered into the program, and by following some basic guiding money principles was able to build up her credit and savings. She kept a record of what she spent on daily needs to track her spending habits and determine how to save more money. She soon found that small changes to her money decisions could have a positive impact on her life.

After a year of successful saving and credit building in the Financial Empowerment Center, Francesann was referred to the Wayne Metro Homebuyer Program, where she learned the steps and requirements of purchasing a home. With her improved finances, she qualified for down payment assistance.

Francesann later entered the Individual Development Account (IDA) program where she received a 3 to 1 match for every dollar she contributed to her IDA, which was managed by Fifth Third Bank. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority also awarded her a grant of $3,000 to be used for her down payment on a house. Francesann became a wise money manager and knowledgeable homebuyer.

Today, Francesann has an amazing credit score of nearly 800, which places her in the top 5% of homebuyers in the nation. What is Francesann’s advice for others dreaming about owning a house? She says, “Follow the program plans, create a savings account, and be honest about your spending. Anyone can do it.” For her future, she says, “I am empowered to keep working hard, to keep my home updated, and to go back to school.”