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Money Makeover paves way to homeownership

DUBUQUE, Iowa—Mark DeRuyter moved to Dubuque to help his wheelchair-bound mother. Then his brother moved in.

The family shared a cramped, two-bedroom apartment—and desperately needed more space.

A free Dupaco Money Makeover showed DeRuyter that homeownership was possible.

“I walked into Dupaco one day and walked out feeling like my entire life had changed,” he said.

A member’s story

DeRuyter first met with Dupaco’s Andrew Houy in late 2015. Houy reviewed the new member’s entire financial picture and helped him create a game plan.

557 Credit Coach loans were opened in 2016

Houy showed DeRuyter how to address some issues on his credit report and approved him for a small-limit Dupaco Visa credit card.

DeRuyter also started a Credit Coach loan to build his credit.

With the low-interest loan, the money you borrow is secured in your savings account for the term of the loan. You earn interest dividends on the money held in savings while payments to the loan help build your credit.

Money Makeover paves way to homeownership

“Mark is like a lot of our members. He’s a really bright guy, and he was very motivated,” Houy said. “He just needed the tools to get moving in the right direction.”

When Houy explained how Dupaco could help, it sounded too good to be true. DeRuyter had always had negative experiences with banks.

“Then I remembered this is a credit union,” he said. “They’re doing what’s best for their members, and that makes a huge difference.”

Six months after his first meeting with Houy, DeRuyter’s score had soared.

And he bought his first house. It’s a four-bedroom, walkout ranch that more than doubled his family’s living space.

The first thing DeRuyter did was build his mom a handicap-accessible ramp.

“Dupaco got me started on the road I needed to take,” DeRuyter said. “I can only see it getting better from here.”