Milwaukee, Wis.,
08:00 AM

Wheels to Work

Melissa is making it work for her family

Imagine being a working parent who relies on public transit to get to and from work. You get a call from your child’s school while at work. They are sick and you have to pick them up immediately. What do you do?

This was Melissa Blue Muhammad’s life. She struggled with transportation issues for years. A college grad with a great family and an amazing job at Pearls for Teen Girls, she helps young women build a strong self-image and leadership skills every day.

The one thing Melissa didn't have was a reliable car. It was an older vehicle with a lot of problems. Melissa and her husband started to share the other vehicle in their household. She had difficulty making it to work and often relied on public transit or coworkers to help her get around.

Then, she remembered her mom went through a program to help her get a better car. She reached out to the YWCA of Southeast Wisconsin, which is supported by State Farm, to learn more about the Auto Loan Access program. Melissa was afraid her credit was too low and worried she could not get a car note.

But, she decided to tackle the issue and enrolled in the program. She attended several financial education workshops about saving and budgeting. She also learned about what can impact a person's credit score. She spent time reviewing her own credit score and found ways to improve it.


Melissa had several a-ha moments during the program. As she looked at her at budget, she saw how much money went to unnecessary things. She realized cutting back on spending could help her save.

After several months, she qualified for a car loan. While the search for a car was frustrating, she finally found a car she liked and met her family’s needs.

The new vehicle is making Melissa’s life easier. She has more time to be with her children, has more reliable transportation to work and has less worries about car repair bills and transit times.

As a result, she received a promotion at work. And, she can easily transport her six kids to and from school and activities. She's also keeping up with managing her budget and working toward her next great purchase - a family home.

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