Woman Empowered to Buy Home Thanks to Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Crystal Mar utilized the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Homeownership program and achieved her dream of homeownership! Crystal and her family worked tirelessly over the years, and her hard work, patience and sacrifices paid off as she closed on her home 5 years later. Congratulations to Crystal Mar for pursuing her goal, as she became the first homebuyer in her family!

Crystal Mar was tired of moving every few years and dealing with high rent. She decided she wanted a stable residence and to give more to her children than she’d known for herself. Crystal was a single African-American woman raising two children, ages 13 and 7. Some of her barriers included:

Reduced work hours
No transportation for weekend work schedule
Low credit score
No credit

Crystal refused to let any barrier stop her from reaching her goal, even as her employer reduced her work hours. She fought long and hard, requesting extra hours and/or overtime. Consequently, Crystal's work hours were restored, even as she sacrificed to pay a jitney $28 daily since Port Authority did not run in her area on weekends.

Crystal at first did not understand how to improve her credit score, and since she had no established credit when she first visited the Urban League her credit score was 390. Working diligently with her housing counselor, she learned to budget and manage her debt. Even though her son was only seven years old, she included him in the budgeting and money management plans. Crystal and her child created and maintained a strict budget plan in an attempt to save money for homeownership. She worked on her credit, and her housing counselor encouraged her not to charge more than 50% of her maximum spending allowance. Over the years, she worked tirelessly repairing her credit, sacrificing and maintaining her monthly budget plan. Within 3 years her credit score was 583 and she paid off her past due debt of $423. By the time she was pre-approved 5 years after her first Urban League visit, her credit score was 714. Crystal exhibited patience and sacrifice, as she worked hard in budgeting, establishing credit and saving money.  Good things come to those who wait!

If you could also use some help in buying a home, contact your local Urban League today!