The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps thousands of Los Angeles Families claim millions of dollars in tax refunds and credits at no cost. VITA's free income tax preperation help is for people who generally make $52,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
El Centro de Ayuda has been providing financial coaching and support to Luz and her four children, two of which who are school age. Her long has been to improve her saving plan. Some first steps she took was in opening a bank account after learning she was able to use her ITIN number. This experience was an integral part in her financial empowerment to be able to gain control of her finances and has incorporated conversation about finances with her family.
After opening her bank account and learning all of the services and credit union offered, she inspired her son to open a bank account and establish credit. Luz son owed over $2,000 dollars for a vehicle and she asked the credit union to assist her son in payig this vehicle. The credit union was able to pay off the car and open a loan through them at a lower APR where he made payments. He is now the owner of the vehicle and has already paid the balance to the credit union. Seeing the success in her son, Luz also empowered her daughter to open a bank account with the credit union and establish her credit.
The customer's next financial goal is becoming a homeowner. Her case manager was able to go to the credit union with her where she discovered she can become a homeowner with the ITIN and to her suprise she has a good credit score! She's now working on increasing her saving to begin the homeownership program though an individual development account. This will take some time but this customer's determination will take her where she wants to go.