Nine years ago, Margarita Gerardo was working two jobs to support her family. She and her two children were living with another family and wanted to have a home of their own. Margarita did not believe she could afford to purchase a home, but found a CDCU house at an affordable price, received down payment assistance and discovered she would be able to purchase the home after meeting with a CDCU housing advisor.
She purchased a two-story home in Salt Lake City nine years ago for her family where she raised her two children, now 19 and 26. Unfortunately, three years after Margarita and her family settled into their home, she suffered from an accident and was unable to continue working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, as she could no longer do the lifting required to help the patients she worked with. As Margarita struggled to make her house payments, she recalled the help she had received from CDCU, and contacted the organization again. She met with a housing advisor who was able to help her work with the bank to restructure her loan. After a year she was able to resume working as a Certified Nursing Assistant and again was happily thriving with her family in her home. Then in early 2013, Margarita faced another major life obstacle – at a routine mammogram she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through radiation treatments and was again unable to work for a year. She began falling behind on payments and returned to CDCU in June 2013 for help. She feared the bank would be unwilling to work with her on a second loan modification, but CDCU housing advisors worked hard on her behalf. Margarita said, “There was a time when I wanted to give up, but the housing counselors helped me through and really cared about me as an individual.” After nearly a year, Margarita’s mortgage was restructured and her payment decreased. In April 2014 she began a three month trial payment plan based on her revised budget to confirm that she will be able to make payments on time and keep her home. Margarita won’t be able to return to the work she loved as a Certified Nursing Assistant, but has found employment with a chiropractic office. She’s had to adjust her budget as her income has decreased with her career change, but she is successfully making her house payments and is confident she’ll be able to keep her home. She said, “For me, working with CDCU is the best thing that’s happened. It was my salvation and such a relief of stress.” Margarita described the day she found out the loan would be restructured, saying her CDCU housing advisor was so excited to call and give her the news. “She was almost more excited than I was!” she explained.
CDCU provides many services to potential homebuyers and homeowners, including down payment assistance, homebuyer education and advising, foreclosure prevention counseling, and more. CDCU is proud to have helped Margarita to be successful in reaching her dream of homeownership and to have helped her remain successful as a homeowner, in spite of facing several unexpected hardships that made it a challenge to stay in her home. Margarita said, “You may think I’ve been so unlucky, but I think about how CDCU has helped me and I feel like I’m so lucky.”