Cedar Rapids Homeowner Receives First Forgivable NFC-CR Loan

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Monday, February 18, 2019

“The program is fantastic. I’m thrilled!”

Last summer, Mary Belcher came across a Facebook post announcing that the Neighborhood Finance Corporation, active in Des Moines for almost 30 years, was opening a new office in Cedar Rapids. The 2008 flood had damaged Mary’s 1929 home in the Taylor neighborhood, and Mary was very interested in learning more about the program and finding out what she might qualify for, so she signed up for email updates announcing when NFC would officially open its doors on Old Marion Road.  

“After the flood, I was able to get my first floor refinished, but I hadn’t been able to pursue any of the work on the second floor. And it definitely needed work,” Mary said. The NFC program seemed like a good fit, and learning that there was a forgivable portion to the loan had Mary’s attention. “You can’t ask for anything better than free money!” Applicants can qualify for 25%, 33% or 50% loan forgiveness depending on income, so she kept watching for an opportunity to find out what she was eligible for.

Mary received email notifications about the NFC program over the next few months, and when she learned that NFC would begin accepting applications in October 2018, she didn’t waste any time in applying. In fact, she was among the first applicants in Cedar Rapids. After pulling together the required documentation and tax information and completing the application process, Mary became the first person in Cedar Rapids to close on an NFC loan the first week of January 2019, and by January 16, workers had started on her house.

Mary had shopped around, talking with contractors and getting bids submitted and was ready to get started. Despite having to make unexpected repairs to floors that were discovered when the carpet came up, all the flooring on the second floor will be receiving the last coat of varnish this week. Interesting fact: While tearing out the floor, workers found a 1943 newspaper!

Next, the bathroom will be completely remodeled, complete with new bathtub/shower, toilet and vanity. The garage still has signs of flood damage, so the siding on the garage will be replaced this spring.

Mary works with families who live in some of the neighborhoods that are in our lending areas for revitalization and has shared the program with them. She says she would absolutely recommend the Neighborhood Finance Corporation. “The program is fantastic. I’m thrilled!”

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