University Hope is a ministry that seeks to provide small rescue loans to those trapped in the predatory loan cycle. By working with a local credit union, UHBC is able to guarantee loans at low interest rates to pay off payday or title loans. A mentor is assigned to help when problems arise and to give advice on budgeting, finding community resources, or just being a friend in times of need.

 

To see if you qualify for potential help from University Hope, you will need to be able to check every item below:

___ I have a payday or title loan with interest of more than 36%

___ The total of all my payday or title loans are $1000 or less

___ I have sufficient income that I could make the payments on my reduced-rate loan

___ I would be willing to join the Educational Community Credit Union (cost $26; to join you must have a photo ID with current address or a photo ID with piece of mail showing your current address. You or a close relative must have attended school in SW Missouri, and you must have no closed bank account with a negative balance remaining.)

___ I would agree to a monthly meeting with a University Hope mentor

 

How can I benefit?

  • The lower interest rate can lower my monthly payments dramatically
  • By making regular on-time payments I can improve my credit rating, allowing me to meet future needs without resorting to payday or title loans
  • When I repay the University Hope loan, the funds used to guarantee my loan will be used to help someone else

 

How do I get started?

  1. Review the above checklist to see if you meet all of the criteria
  2. Contact UHBC by calling the church office at (417) 862-0789
  3. Expect a call back from one of the University Hope volunteers to set up an interview
  4. Please have the contract or a statement from your lender showing:
  • date and amount of original loan
  • amount currently due
  • interest rate being charged
  • payoff amount on the date of your meeting with University Hope volunteers

In the process of helping people escape from payday loans, it became apparent the Springfield area needed more options to assist those with needs BEFORE they turned to exploitative payday and title loans. 

An expanded program to address the financial issues leading up to payday and title loans has launched in cooperation with TelComm Credit Union as of June 28, 2017.  TelComm CU/University Hope are providing loans at a lower interest rate than those of predatory lenders which may charge 300% - 400% interest.  University Hope will assist persons who have a particular urgent need such as an urgent medical expense, car repair or other essential costs with a loan ranging from $500 to $750 depending on the need as determined by University Hope volunteers.  Recipients of these low interest loans will also be assigned a friend/mentor to stay in contact with them on a regular basis as a support system and partner moving forward. Recipients will also be offered free budgeting and financial management classes.

 

Persons in need of this low interest loan assistance to avoid turning to payday and title loans should email universityhope@uhbc.org or contact the office of University Heights Baptist Church at 417-862-0789 during business hours and ask for a University Hope representative. 


Check out these links for news coverage of University Hope:

Sara Forhetz of KY3

Nick Thompson of KOLR10 

Jackie Rehwald of Springfield News-Leader

UHBC Pastor Dr. Danny Chisholm for Ethics Daily