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Self-Help Federal Credit Union Member Finds Solid Ground Post-Katrina

Financial and Social Impact

  • Boosted credit by 300 points
  • Improved financial health

Darrell Molett was attending a community college in New Orleans when Katrina hit. Post-hurricane, without permanent housing, he struggled to hold down a job. Then, a friend encouraged him to leave NOLA and head to California for work. Once Darrell made it to the golden state, however, getting on his feet wasn’t easy.

“When I first arrived in San Francisco, the main economic struggle I faced was housing,” explains Darrell. “You need good credit, check stubs, and a statement from a credit union or bank. I didn’t have any of that.”

But Darrell caught a break when he learned about Self-Help Federal Credit Union, an Oakland-based CDFI committed to serving low-wealth and underserved communities and families. He signed up for two of Self-Help’s credit-building products—a Fresh Start Loan and a Secured Credit Card. Within a year, Darrell’s credit score jumped 300 points.

Today, in his new hometown, Darrell is employed part-time with NBA champions the Golden State Warriors, and is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in filmmaking at San Francisco State University.

“Self-Help took a chance on me. They listened to me and understood what I was going through. I didn’t get that from a bank.” says Darrell. “The credit union not only helped me financially get to where I needed to be, it helped me as a person.”

(Date of loan: 2011. Date of story publication: 2017)