Financial education offered to Philadelphians in mortgage trouble

A new program is helping Philadelphia homeowners in trouble with their mortgages deal with their finances.Funded by PNC Bank, the program offers financial-education classes to those threatened with foreclosure.Patrick Coleman, who just graduated the Tools for Financial Growth course, says he has changed some habits. Now, he says, he eats out a lot less.”We had to learn how to pay our bills, just like my credit card,” he said. “I learned like when you pay your credit cards, you pay that monthly fee. And when you have a little extra in the middle of the month, you send some more money to try to build your credit up.”As she teaches the classes, Michelle Kerr Spry says she wants to make sure those who avoid foreclosure don’t run into more financial trouble.”Many of our folks don’t understand how credit is used, how it is gathered,” she said. “So we go through the process of how is your credit score determined, how is it used, how can it be used for you and also against you.”Philadelphia’s foreclosure diversion program has saved more than 5,000 people from losing their homes. Organizers hope this program will keep people from facing foreclosure for a second time.

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