Credit and Twin Accounts

A good credit history and credit score can pave the way to better jobs, lower interest rates and asset building. LISC Financial Opportunity Centers work closely with clients to remedy expensive debt and set up manageable payment plans that help grow a healthy credit rating. LISC Twin Accounts™ are a tool designed to help low- to moderate-income people build credit and save money at the same time.



Alternative Credit and Secured vs. Prepaid Cards

This PowerPoint gives an overview of the Experian Rent Bureau, which is an alternative service for rental data, and explains how prepaid cards can be beneficial to clients. The detailed presentation from 2010 by the Credit Builders Alliance includes pros and cons and detailed examples PDF

Twin Accounts: Is My Client a Good Fit?


This presentation explains the basics of the LISC Twin Accounts program, including facts about collections. PDF

Justine Petersen's online loan Portal

This document is an overview of the online loan platform and presents how to navigate and understand the information available. PDF

Log in setup instructions for the JP portal. PDF


This extensive manual gives background on the issue of medical debt and strategies for how to help a client resolve the issue, including Private Insurance Advocacy, Negotiating Medical Bills, and medical bills on credit reports, as well as sample letters. PDF

This 2010 presentation explains the basics of how child support is determined and collected in Illinois and how it is reflected on a credit report, as well as how to help a client modify his or her child support. PDF

Workforce Development and Credit CBA Tipsheet 


From the Credit Builders of America, this four-page tip sheet gives the basics on how credit histories impact employment, including how employers use credit reports as part of the hiring or promotion process. PDF

Medical Debt Resolution Training Program


This presentation by the Access Project from 2012 gives the statistics behind medical debt, the impact of medical debt, and collections in relation to medical debt. PDF



Twin Accounts


LISC Twin Accounts combines the incentives provided in an Individual Development Account (IDA) with credit building to achieve a high level of impact on an individual’s financial bottom line. A two-page overview gives the basics. PDF


Prior to offering Twin Accounts, all financial coaches must complete an online assessment through Justine Petersen. Directions on accessing the portal can be found here

Each state that offers Twin Accounts has a separate policies and procedures document.

New York
Rhode Island

A LISC Excel spreadsheet gives the details of interest rates and other figures for each state. 



This six-page document explains how FICO scores work, how to access your score, and how more than a dozen financial behaviors over the course of the year would effect a hypothetical family. PDF

From 2005, this report from the credit score company TransUnion provides an annotated sample report, with an explanation of the meaning of more than 30 specific lines in its reports. PDF

A nine-page PDF to use with clients to explore how credit works and how bad and good credit impacts their finances. PDF


Secured Credit Cards


Upon completion of Twin Accounts, clients are graduated to a secured credit card. One option is the Capital One Secured credit card, which has no annual fee.

Capital One Secured Card Fact Sheet

Capital One Secured Card Terms & Conditions

Instructions for Opening a Capital One Secured Card

Link to Online Application


Another option is the PNC secured card, which has a lower APR than the Credit One card but does have an annual fee, which is charged monthly.

Instructions for Opening a PNC Secured Card

Application for PNC Secured Card

Credit Release Authorization


This Word document is a template that can be filled in with a client’s information to serve as an authorization for an agency to pull the client’s credit report and FICO score for review with the client. Word doc

FC Resource: Accessing Credit Reports and Scores


As part of a client’s complete Combined Financial Assessment (CFA), a coach should access the client’s credit score and trade line information from their credit report. This two-page document explains the basics of the process. PDF