by VEP student Eunsung Kim, tutored by Nancy Satinsky
VEP tutors do much more than teach students English! They help adult immigrants adapt to American culture, achieve employment and education goals, and even earn citizenship. Eunsung tells of her important achievement of establishing credit:
“I wanted to get a credit card because I needed to get credit in the United States. If I buy a house and my credit is good, the interest will be lower. In my country I used credit cards so I knew the benefit of a credit card. Sometimes the credit card company returns money for using a credit card. You can get miles or discounts by using the card. Without a major credit card (like Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) I cannot get a store credit card.
“First I opened an account at a bank (Wells Fargo). I saved money. I thought that the bank would trust me if my account got higher. I waited about 1 year. After 1 year, I visited the bank and asked them for a credit card. They required information about me and my husband. I gave them information but I was refused. They told me to call to find out the reason I was refused, but my English was not good and I didn’t understand. My VISA was expiring in 6 months, so I thought I will try again after I renew my VISA.
“This September I asked again for a credit card. They said again my credit score was too low. Then my tutor visited Wells Fargo. She met with a banker (David). She explained my situation. He needed some information – a copy of my husband’s social security number and my husband’s mother’s mane. David suggested we got a “secured credit card”. After one year, I can get an “unsecured card” if I pay on time. First, the bank gave just my husband a card. I wanted an extra card for me, but the banker told me it’s better to get a separate card to raise my credit score. We waited and waited and waited and visited the bank to see if it was processing. Finally, I received my credit card on the day of the VEP luncheon. I am excited.”