“No matter how many times or how often I called, Rhode Island Housing always called me back. I was able to connect with them in a way that was unbelievable,” says homeowner Missy Santiago.
Missy Santiago did not take the typical path on her journey to homeownership. An employee at Rhode Island Hospital, Missy first considered homeownership when she crossed paths with Rhode Island Housing Mortgage Originator Sandra Mazo. As they got to talking, Missy explained that although she was receiving public assistance, she still paid more than $1,000 per month for rent – money that could have been going towards a mortgage payment. Following their initial conversation, Missy began working with Sandra to explore her options.
Sandra immediately discovered that Missy had credit that would not qualify for a mortgage – something that would have to be rectified before she could seriously consider buying a home. Sandra introduced Missy to Veronica Martinez, an employee at Olneyville Housing Corporation, who provided additional guidance and homeownership counseling on the steps needed for Missy to improve her credit score and become a more eligible borrower.
With this guidance, Missy began to reign in her spending. She became conscious of her budget, started building her savings, and refrained from buying the new car that she so desperately wanted. In a period of sixteen months, Missy increased her credit score to more than 700 points. With the helpful tips that Sandra and Veronica provided over the course of a year and a half, Missy became well equipped to purchase her first home.
Missy is now the proud owner of a three-bedroom ranch with a large backyard. Each day, she reflects on the progress she has made to improve her life. “I am so grateful to Rhode Island Housing and Olneyville Housing Corporation,” she says. “Without them, none of this would have been possible.” Her advice to others considering buying a home: “Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call Rhode Island Housing. There are wonderful people willing to help steer you in the right direction.”