Laurie

Five years ago, Laurie could barely afford her car. Now, she estimates she’s less than one year away from becoming a homeowner.

“I can’t wait to be the one who decides when the heat gets turned on,” she laughs.

It’s a big milestone for anyone. Owning a home in one of the most competitive markets in the country is no small feat. For many members, this goal can feel nearly insurmountable. But Laurie is used to overcoming.

In 2013, Laurie was laid off. She struggled to pay her bills and her credit score plummeted. To add to her financial burden, she also needed to replace her car.

“I got it, but just by the skin of my teeth,” she recalls. Her interest rate through a bank was a whopping 16.99%.

Laurie only had to make a few payments on her new car when she received an auto-refinance promotional offer from Seattle Credit Union. She’d never heard of us before, but knew credit unions were different from banks in a few important ways: credit unions are member-owned, democratically run, and sometimes have better interest rates.

She decided to apply and was thrilled when her application was accepted. Her new Seattle Credit Union loan lowered her interest rate to under 5%. “It was a huge relief. I knew I could set my payments up on auto-pay and that they’d be met every month.”

Since then, Laurie’s paid off some surprise expenses with one of our personal loans. She’s consolidated and transferred credit card debt to one of our lower-interest cards. She’s even built up her savings and raised her credit score from 230 to well over 700 – the last step on her journey to homeownership.

As she daydreams about the home she’ll create for herself and her “fur baby,” Tucker, Laurie reflects on the most important lessons she’s learned about personal finance.

“When you’re a young adult, you think you can save forever and plan everything,” she says. “But life doesn’t work like that.”

She hopes her advice inspires others to forge a path to financial freedom: get educated about your finances, don’t buy what you can’t afford, invest wisely, and find a financial institution you can trust.

At Seattle Credit Union, we’re proud to partner with Laurie as she navigates life’s challenges and fortunes. When she’s ready to buy that home, we’ll be ready with mortgage options and long-term personal service for whatever she sets her sights on next.

And we agree – it feels good to be in charge of the thermostat.

Read more inspiring member stories, like Laurie’s, go here.