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2009-09-22 / Headlines

Lakota Funds Spotlight

Gina Good Crow

Hello, my name is Gina Good Crow and I greet everyone with a warm-handshake from my heart. I am from the Knife Chief (Mila Yatapika) Community of the Porcupine District. I have two awesome sons, Seneca Chase and Sequoia Chant. I have been employed with the Oglala Oyate Woitancan Empowerment Zone for 4 years now. Currently I am the Controller, handling the fi- nances and maintaining the budgets. I also work closely with USDA, our source Grantor to receive funding that assists our reservation and the people. It feels good to be part of an organization that benefits the Lakota Oyate.

It has always been a dream of mine to purchase a home of my own that I can raise my children in. With the lack of housing and resources on the reservation it became a struggle for me to obtain a home of my own. One day I turned to KILI on a Monday afternoon and heard David White Bull of the Lakota Funds talk about the IDA Program and other opportunities they offered. I quickly joined the IDA Program with ease and began saving for plans to build a nice home for my family. During the IDA monthly support meetings, I began to realize the full picture of what is needed to purchase a home.

One big factor that stood out to me was my credit. My credit score was not the best because of a past delinquent student loan. In the world today, a home loan is based on your credit score, the better your score the more they are willing to lend you at lower interest rates. I began talking with staff on what I could do and how I can bring my credit score up. Since I knew that it was the delinquent student loan holding up my score, I asked about the Credit Builder Loan Program that the Lakota Funds offered. The program is designed to help people build credit.

I called Wells Fargo about my student loan in an instant and asked if they would settle for the amount the Lakota Funds was willing to offer for a loan and they said yes. I called Lakota Funds and told them the news, and in the next couple days paperwork was finalized and payment was sent to pay off that debt immediately. I was so excited at how easy it was and how fast staff at Lakota Funds work to help the people. I am extremely excited about the debt payoff because it was a burden thinking of how I was going to handle repayment. I also like the low monthly payments to Lakota Funds for this loan; it is well within my budget.

The payoff with the Lakota Fund Credit Builder Program is one small step toward structuring my credit and a step toward building the house of my dreams. I want to thank Lakota Funds for the opportunities they have given me and I would like to advise people that if you have a dream to purchase a home of your own, start a business, need help as an undergraduate student or need credit help to give Lakota Funds a call. They are a positive resource on the reservation that will help you to achieve your goals. The staff is always willing to help and give advice.

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Lakota Country Times, Newspapers, Martin, SD