HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For 25 years, the Credit Coalition has championed free financial and homebuyer education for Houstonians and residents of the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. Today, the nonprofit was awarded $22,000 in Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and CommunityBank of Texas (CBOT), an FHLB Dallas member institution. The grant will allow the Credit Coalition, a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency, to cover administrative and operational expenses and continue serving its clients free of charge.
“We are different in Houston because we don’t charge for our services,” said Sherrie Young, executive director of the Credit Coalition. “We help empower people with information from volunteers in the fields of finance, credit, consumer rights and homebuyer education. Our clients then take that information and apply it to their lives. They receive the tools to make more informed financial decisions.”
Ms. Young explained what differentiates the Credit Coalition’s free “Fundamental of Good Credit” course.
“Others are a one-day class. Ours is 15 hours over six weeks,” she said. “Our clients order and review their credit reports, track their spending for a month and gain a better understanding of the credit process. They interview bankers, calculate their own debt ratios and 'pre-qualify themselves' for the various loans.”
CBOT Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Brandi Gregg said the work of the Credit Coalition has made a real difference in Southeast Texas.
“This organization, more than any other, establishes a financial knowledge base among its clients that can improve whole neighborhoods and communities,” she said. “What a tremendous impact there has been over the years with more than 12,000 people receiving free financial and homebuyer education. CBOT is proud to support the Credit Coalition’s work in Houston and Beaumont/Port Arthur.”
PGP awards provide grants to community-based organizations (CBOs) of up to $12,000. The funds may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or contractual services. Through the PGP, FHLB Dallas matches a member’s contribution to a CBO of $500 up to $4,000 at a 3:1 ratio for a maximum $12,000 contribution from FHLB Dallas. Members may contribute more than the $4,000 amount required to maximize the FHLB Dallas contribution, increasing the total amount to the organization.
The Credit Coalition’s membership includes financial institutions, community organizations and other qualified businesses. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit was established in 1992 by financial institutions that wanted to help consumers following an economic downturn.
“CommunityBank of Texas is a committed partner with FHLB Dallas and the Credit Coalition,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “By giving of their time, talent and resources, CBOT’s staff demonstrates what it means to truly invest in the local community.”
PGP grants are offered via a lottery system once a year through FHLB Dallas members. In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $300,000 in PGP funds through 31 member institutions to assist 30 CBOs. Combined with the $104,550 contributed by FHLB Dallas members, a total of $404,550 was awarded to the organizations.
To learn more about the PGP or other Community Investment programs from FHLB Dallas, visit fhlb.com/community.
About CommunityBank of Texas
CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. is an independent, Texas-owned bank with assets in excess of $2.9 billion. Established in 2007, the bank has 35 branches and is the largest independent community bank headquartered in and focused on the financial needs of Houston and Southeast Texas. For information about CommunityBank of Texas, N.A., visit communitybankoftx.com.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $62.9 billion as of June 30, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.