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Leticia: Rising up

There is a saying when one hand helps the other hand, and together they applaud much louder than one alone.

Leticia immigrated to the Bay Area in her late 20’s for a better life. In less than two decades, she owned two houses, started two successful businesses, and was married with two children. She even brought in two foster children to give them a safe home. But in 2005, a succession of disasters shook Leticia’s strong spirit.

Leticia’s husband filed for divorce and made her solely responsible for their mortgages. Her business partners walked out on her and later, she became too ill to work for herself. “I felt powerless to do anything to change my life,” she said.

Losing her home and steady income also risked Leticia’s role as a foster mother. But she did not want to give up her foster children. She was determined to rise up. Leticia began applying for loans to start a food cart business. When bankers saw her large mortgages, they hastily declined.

Leticia joined her first Lending Circle in 2011 ready for a new start.

“I thought it would take 5 or 10 years for my credit to improve. I didn’t have time to wait,” she said.

To her surprise, after 18 months, Leticia’s credit score jumped 250 points to 608.

Because she paid back her loans on time, she qualified for a $5000 microloan from Mission Asset Fund. This loan will help launch what will surely be the first of Leticia’s many food carts.

She is grateful for the support of the community in helping her change her life and take care of her family.

“There is a saying when one hand helps the other hand, and together they applaud much louder than one alone.”




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