Nonprofit aids clients in building credit, buying cars

Jacquinn Williams | 12/21/2011, 8:23 a.m.
Sean Yaris (above), Kathryn Dunklee (middle) and Eric Melo have all benefited from services provided by More Than Wheels....

In addition to the FinFit classes, More Than Wheels has a Bridge program for clients with immediate transportation needs. They have a fleet of mostly donated cars that can be used until clients finish the program.

“There is a fee for using a Bridge car,” Chadwick explained. “The payment serves as consistent payment history that we can present to lenders when clients buy a car.”

Clients who go through the program end up with a payment history that More Than Wheels presents to lenders as a loan story.  

“We have created relationships with auto dealers to get the best rates for our clients,” Chadwick said. “The rates we’re getting are not presented to the average person with the same credit history as our clients. What helps them get approved is the loan story. We can show them payment history and growth.”

All the cars purchased by program participants come with a five-year warranty.

“We have a less than 5 percent default rate,” said Chadwick.

Through leveraging their relationships with lenders, More Than Wheels — which has a quarterly TV program “On the Road with More Than Wheels” on BNN — claims that they will save clients $15 million dollars collectively over the course of their loans.

After learning how to budget and save, the purchase of the car becomes a major achievement, especially for Melo, who has two kids and a job with a 20-minute commute.

“It feels tremendous,” he said. “Getting a new car is like getting new jewelry. You put it on and you feel different. I have a newfound confidence.”

For more information about More Than Wheels, call 866-455-2522.