Home Ownership, Education, & Counseling
All Bridge Street programs focus on asset creation. In 1996, BSDC opened the Wealth Creation Center and developed the first comprehensive financial literacy program in Bedford-Stuyvesant targeted to both high school students and adults. We added the First Investors Workshop to help community residents begin to create wealth by setting up Individual Development Accounts with our local banking partners.
Today, we offer empowering financial literacy courses and a First-Time Homebuyers Workshop at the Wealth Creation Center. All courses are free. But to qualify for the First Investors Workshop, you must have saved $750 to invest by the time the course begins in September.
FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS WORKSHOP
BSDC takes you through the entire purchasing process. We offer two types of courses—a four-week workshop and a two-week fast-track course—depending on your timetable for buying a home.
Four-Week Course for Potential Buyers Not Yet Ready to Purchase
This course is designed for those who are not yet ready to purchase, but who have begun or want to begin saving for a down payment and making other financial plans to prepare to buy a home. We help you understand how to use credit and how to deal with any past credit issues you want to clear before applying for a mortgage. We pull your credit report to help you clarify what you need to do to begin saving for a down payment. We help you create a saving plan and a spending plan so that you can save for the purchase of a home. We also link you to saving clubs through one of our banking partners. At the end of the course, you will have all the tools you need to start budgeting and saving to buy a home.
Two-Week Fast-track Course for Buyers Ready to Purchase
This abridged version of the workshop is similar to the four-week course, but it is designed for homebuyers who are ready to purchase their first home. This class takes you from what you can afford to spend to what you can expect at closing. It is ideal for people who have already saved for their down payment—and who may have even identified the home they want to buy—but whose bank has required them to take a first-time homebuyers course.
INDIVIDUAL BUDGET AND CREDIT COUNSELING
In one-on-one private counseling sessions, we help you develop a family budget. Anyone can come to Bridge Street for this type of counseling. You don’t have to be planning to buy a home. Maybe you just want to work out a saving plan and a spending plan. Maybe you’re having a hard time paying your monthly bills or maybe you’re making the payments, but you’re always late with them. Or you may be having trouble with a creditor or a credit report from one of the credit bureaus. We can work with you to re-establish your credit, if necessary, or to correct errors on your credit report, update old information on it, or help you negotiate with a creditor to clear a debt and to send letters to the credit bureaus so they’ll correct your report. We also provide one-on-one business planning services for individuals starting a business.