Lawrence County starts credit-counsel program

By MARY grzebieniak


A free credit-counseling program for people of all income levels has come to Lawrence County.

Debbie Tawney-Newsom of NeighborWorks of Western Pennsylvania talked about the service this week with Lawrence County commissioners.

Tawney said that Northwest Savings Bank sponsors the service — which includes credit counseling, repair, budget, foreclosure and home-buyer counseling, and financial education for youth and adults.

The national organization, which was founded in 1968 in Pittsburgh, is sponsored in Lawrence County by Northwest Savings Bank. Tawney-Newsom said that low-to-moderate income home buyers with a low credit rating often believe they have no alternative but to borrow from predatory lenders. She said no credit is so bad that it can’t be repaired.

She said that many high-income homeowners were also affected by the mortgage crisis that she said was fed by the practice of many Americans of living paycheck to paycheck.

She said the service is free. Besides Lawrence County, 13 other NeighborWorks locations operate in three other counties as well as the home office in Pittsburgh.

The service is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays at PA CareerLink, 102 Margaret St. To make an appointment, call 412-281-9773. Walk-ins are welcome, she said.

In other business, commissioners accepted a $1.39 million in Medical Assistance Transportation Grant Allocation for the 2011-12 year on behalf of Lawrence County Social Services.

Angela Elias, of Lawrence County Community Action Partnership, said state cutbacks are expected in the program this coming fiscal year.

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