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FICO and Northwest Area Foundation Offer Nonprofit Scholarships to Attend Credit Building Symposium
Attend and hone financial education and credit counseling skills to help clients build positive credit

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) 4th Annual Credit Building Symposium will now be accessible to more non-profits as a result of scholarships offered by FICO and the Northwest Area Foundation. These scholarships will enable attendees to explore the linkage between credit building and the broader issues of income inequality, poverty reduction, and asset building. Addressing these issues is of critical importance as wealth inequality continues to widen, according to the Pew Research Center.

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For the third year in a row, the scholarships offered by the Northwest Area Foundation will allow grantees located in the Northwest, particularly rural areas, to attend the June 26-27th symposium in Washington, DC. The scholarships help support travel expenses and registration costs. Current Northwest Area Foundation recipients include:

  • Asian Economic Development Association- St Paul, MN
  • Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund- Minneapolis, MN
  • Build Wealth MN, Inc.- Minneapolis, MN
  • Emerge Community Development- Minneapolis, MN
  • First Ponca Financial- Grand Island, NE
  • Jannus, Inc.- Boise, ID
  • Latino Economic and Development Center- Minneapolis, MN
  • Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial- Pine Ridge, SD
  • Montana Community Development Corporation- Missoula, MT
  • RDI Financial- Great Falls, MT
  • Taala Fund- Taholah, WA
  • Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation- Porcupine, SD

Joining the scholarship program this year is FICO. The FICO® Score Open Access for Credit and Financial Counseling is a program that enables not for profit credit and financial counseling providers to share FICO® Scores and credit education with their customers.  The program increases consumers understanding of FICO® Scores and there importance in everyday financial decisions. 
CBA members who have signed up for the open access program were eligible for scholarships to attend the symposium. FICO grant recipients currently include:

  • Jamaica Plain NDC- Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Washington Access Fund- Seattle, WA
  • Mission Asset Fund- San Francisco, CA
  • New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)- New York, NY
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI)- Buffalo, NY
  • Justine PETERSEN Housing and Revitalization- St Louis, MO
  • Working Credit NFP- Chicago, IL
  • Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OKAT)- Stillwater, OK
  • Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)- Chicago, IL
  • MyPath- San Francisco, CA
  • The Capital Good Fund- Providence, RI
  • Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence- Frankfort, KY

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Suzanne Smith, CEO, Social Impact Architects, presenting onSurvivance- Redefining the Nonprofit Way in the 21st Century
  • Dr. Bernard Franklin, Assistant Vice President, Kansas State University, presenting on Against All Odds: A College Education
  • John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE   

Panel sessions will revolve around the theme of Credit Building as the Gateway for Opportunities and will include:

  • A dialogue with entrepreneurs about their credit challenges and successes
  • Credit Scores - New Consumer Developments
  • Leveraging Data for Credit Building and Monitoring
  • Using Alternative Data to Safely Increase Access to Credit for Traditionally Underserved Minority Groups

Closing out the symposium will be a half day Credit as an Asset training. The workshop will highlight the basics of building credit, the importance of a good credit history and the value of credit reports. Additionally, the workshop will demonstrate how to promote access to responsible financial products and how to respond to consumer credit questions.

"We want to alleviate poverty and bring prosperity to our communities. Credit is essential to attaining that goal. However, consumers need to know how to use credit responsibly," said Dara Duguay, executive director, Credit Builders Alliance. "These educators are on the front line of ensuring consumers are receiving accurate information. This is why we are so passionate about our annual symposium which brings together top credit experts throughout the country."

To learn more about the symposium, click here.

About Credit Builders Alliance
Credit Builders Alliance serves as a unique and vital bridge between our nonprofit members and the major credit reporting agencies (CRAs). Through this support, CBA helps people who are outside the financial mainstream build credit to achieve their goals and enjoy financial security for themselves and their families. Our core services, CBA Reporter and CBA Access, provide nonprofits with both the ability and critical technical assistance to report loan data to the CRAs and to pull low-cost client credit reports for the purposes of financial education, outcome tracking and underwriting.


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Dara Duguay, Credit Builders Alliance, 1.202.888.7588, or Christianne Lind, Northwest Area Foundation, 1.651.225.7702, or Chaundera Wolfe, FICO Director Corporate Communications,