Financial Fitness

Having a low credit score or no credit history keeps many families from being able to move to High Opportunity Areas.

Your credit score is your official history of paying back your debts. If you do not have a good history or you have a mixed history of making payments, property owners might worry about you paying your rent on time each month. The good news is that it’s very possible to build and repair your credit so that when you are ready you can confidently apply for a new home.

Below are some free resources where you can take classes on building credit or sign up to receive one-on-one credit counseling. Generally we do not recommend paying for any type of credit monitoring services.

Ongoing Classes

  • Prosperity Connection: Schedule of classes here.

  • Office of Financial Empowerment, St. Louis Treasurer’s office: Schedule of classes here.

  • Kingdom House: Schedule of classes here.

One-on-One Credit Counseling

  • Justine Petersen
    Call or email to set up an appointment here.
    Office location: 1023 North Grand Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63106

  • Prosperity Connection
    Email to set up an appointment here.
    Office locations: 6724 Page Ave, Pagedale, MO 63133; 2808 Endicott, St. John, MO 63114; 2707 N. 14th Street St. Louis, MO 63106; 2828 Gravois Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63118

  • Kingdom House
    Email or call to set up an appointment here (see contact info for Kapira Lipsomb or mayda Paredes).
    Office location: 1321 South 11th Street St. Louis, Missouri 63104

  • Operation Hope
    Email or call to set up an appointment with Ami Boehlje at ami.boehlje@operationhope.org or (314) 613-3196.
    Office location: City Hall, Room 220, 1200 Market Street, St Louis, MO 63103

Accessing your credit report and credit score

  • You can retrieve your credit report from the three reporting bureaus (TansUnion, Equifax, and Experian) annually through www.annualcreditreport.com.  The website will require you to answer several personal questions to verify your identity. 

  • You can also sign up for Credit Karma to review your credit report and VantageScore credit score. Please note however, that the information provided on Credit Karma is often several months behind and that the VantageScore credit score may be slightly different from a FICO score, which is based on a different formula. The FICO score is what most lenders and property owners use when considering you for a loan or a property. Several banks also offer free access to credit scores for their customers. Check your bank website to see if your bank offers such services.