Gary and Rhonda first visited Neighborhood Housing Services of the Black Hills (NHSBH), a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, in 2004 dreaming about owning a home. At their first meeting with NHSBH they received some bad news. They had taken out a loan five years earlier to consolidate debt and felt they were finally ready to buy a home, but after reviewing their credit report, they found that a debt they thought had been cleared up was still there. Gary and Rhonda had taken a loan from predatory lender that promised to pay off all of their debt and lower their monthly bills. In fact, the only thing they had paid over the five years was interest. At this point they were contemplating bankruptcy.
|(l-r) Shiela Walker, First Western Bank; Joy McCracken, NHS Executive Director; Dusty Pinske, First Western Bank; Eric Fowler, NHS Board President; Rhonda Olson, Gary Olson, Bud Hannah, Remax.
Over the next two years, NHSBH worked with Gary and Rhonda on a new loan that helped them pay-off bills and clean up their credit. They attended Living Within My Means; a course offered by Neighborhood Housing Services that helps educate families about budgeting and credit. In 2006, Gary and Rhonda were finally ready to buy a home. They attended a Homebuyers Education class, and recently moved into their first home. That was a day they never thought they'd see!
Rhonda and Gary purchased a home in Lead, close to school and work. They commented, "Homeownership means a place to call home for our family. Making the simplest things real - a bedroom your child can paint any color, a yard for the puppy to run, planting a garden and growing flowers, a home to be proud of. NHS has enabled our family to buy this home. They assisted us in getting our credit straight and offered classes to help us understand the importance of keeping track of finances. We thank you for this."
- Neighborhood Housing Services of the Black Hills (http://www.nhsblackhills.org)