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CESI Announces Partnership With Justine PETERSEN to Offer Save2Build Credit Builder Loan

RALEIGH, NC  – Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) and Justine PETERSEN (JP) are proud to announce a partnership to provide CESI customers with an innovative product that helps reduce debt, create individual savings and build a stronger credit profile – an elusive combination for individuals struggling with consumer debt and critical elements for building financial health and wellness.

This innovative program known as The Save2Build Credit Builder Loan will allow CESI debt management plan clients who have success paying off at least one creditor through their debt management plan the ability to integrate a credit builder loan from JP into their on-going monthly plan at no additional cost. This combination will not only help the consumer reduce debt but build automatic savings and provide the means to report monthly repayments to the credit bureaus, working to enhance the consumer’s credit profile. For consumers who are struggling with unsecured debt, a debt management plan solves the specific need for debt repayment. But debt repayment alone isn’t enough to build a healthy financial future. For clients who have struggled financially, savings can also be a difficult obstacle to achieve on their own. CESI recognizes that building a savings habit is an essential component of future financial success. The Save2Build program is an innovation that will build on the consumer’s success with debt repayment while also allowing them an opportunity to automate and establish a savings habit and improve their credit at the same time.

Through the Save2Build Credit Builder Loan, clients can borrow $300 funded by Great Rivers Community Capital (GRCC) a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and a wholly-owned subsidiary of JP. Under Save2Build, the borrowed funds are not distributed directly to the client as they would with a traditional loan. Instead, they are deposited into a locked savings account. The client makes small monthly installment payments through their debt management plan over a year. Each monthly payment made toward the loan is reported to the credit reporting agencies which will reflect positively on their credit report and potentially raise their credit score. At the end of the loan term, the funds are returned to the client from the locked savings account, providing an instant savings cushion that the client can use to continue to build their savings over time or use to continue to build their credit.

“CESI’s partnership with Justine PETERSEN is a differentiator in our industry that will empower consumers struggling with credit and debt issues to make long-lasting changes that will benefit their financial futures.” Said Mike Croxson, CEO of CESI. “Many consumers who have experienced financial challenges have been excluded from mainstream opportunities to help them, plan, save and rebuild their credit. This program will be a game-changer for helping struggling consumers make a fresh financial start.”

Rob Boyle, CEO of Justine PETERSEN said, “There are nearly 350,000 Americans enrolled in debt management plans each year. Justine PETERSEN’s partnership with CESI offers an opportunity to not only support people actively working on addressing their debt challenges by creating emergency savings, but also creates a positive secured line of credit that reports to all three credit bureaus. The partnership enables participants to emerge from a debt management plan primed for financial health.”

About CESI:

Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Consumer Education Services Inc. is a nationally licensed non-profit credit counseling organization. Our mission is to empower people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives. CESI helps consumers achieve financial freedom by offering a complete life cycle of services including credit counseling, debt management, housing counseling, student loan solutions, financial education, and pre/post-bankruptcy counseling. CESI was recognized by Business North Carolina as one of the 2020 Best Employers in North Carolina for the second consecutive year. For more information, please visit cesisolutions.org

About Justine PETERSEN:

Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation (Justine PETERSEN) is a Missouri Not-for-Profit Corporation. Our mission is to connect institutional resources with the needs of low-to-moderate-income individuals and families, helping them to build assets and create enduring change -- not just for each individual or family that we assist, but the community as a whole.

Justine PETERSEN’s mission is demonstrated by our services, which include credit building and financial education, homeownership preparation and retention, and micro-enterprise lending and training. For more information, please visit justinepetersen.org

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