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Five Greater Springfield Residents are First to Graduate from Bank's PATH Plus Program

Five Greater Springfield Residents are First to Graduate from Bank's PATH Plus Program

United Bank today announced that five individuals from the Greater Springfield area became the first graduates of the Bank’s PATH Plus program, a unique, ongoing and innovative 12-month program that teaches the three keys to homeownership – education, savings and mortgage benefits.

 

United Bank held a graduation reception on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at their branch located at 1077 St. James Avenue in Springfield where they honored these five individuals for being the program’s first graduating class and presented each of them with certificates showing successful completion. Also joining the graduates on Tuesday evening were the co-teachers of the PATH Plus program from United Bank as well as local Realtors from the greater Springfield region.

 

The graduates are Wil Rodriguez, Cathleen Lakota, Jessica Ricketts, Yessica Martinez and Shaneece Hamilton.

 

“On behalf of the United Bank Team, I would like to publicly congratulate the five graduates for their hard work and commitment to successfully completing this program. What the last 12 months have shown us is that we’ve established a financial education and savings program that is truly making a difference in our communities,” said William H.W. Crawford, IV, Chief Executive Officer of United Bank and United Financial Bancorp, Inc. “We consider PATH Plus to be one-of-its-kind in the banking industry that turns the dream of owning a home into a reality for individuals and families who might otherwise never have had this opportunity, including the five individuals who graduated this week.”

 

United Bank’s PATH Plus program, which the Bank launched in May 2015, directly assists low-to-moderate income individuals or families in achieving their dream of homeownership by providing free financial education on home buying and money management; establishing a savings program that requires participants to open a United Bank Savings Account; making regular contributions to the account; and rewarding program participants who complete the comprehensive 12-month program with the opportunity to get a United Bank mortgage, including 100% mortgage financing with no private mortgage insurance (PMI) and a closing cost credit up to a maximum of $1,200.

 

United Bank works closely with nonprofits in Connecticut and Massachusetts to raise awareness of PATH Plus and “certify” them to work with the Bank to find eligible individuals and families to participate in the program. Classes are held in branch locations in four key markets that United Bank serves: Hartford, New Haven, Springfield and Worcester.

 

PATH Plus requires participants to attend classes over a 12-month timeframe, which includes courses on making deposits and withdrawals; identifying ways to save, understanding credit and credit reporting; learning about the home buying process; things to do after you buy a home; and many other important topics essential to a sound financial education program.  The classes are taught by subject matter experts from United’s retail banking and mortgage lending teams with the support of local realtors.

 

To be accepted into the program, eligible participants must first meet United Bank’s definition of low-to-moderate income families. Next, candidates must apply through a nonprofit organization in Connecticut or Massachusetts that has attended United’s information seminar on the PATH Plus program. If the candidates meet those requirements, they are required to complete a pledge statement that they will attend 12 educational classes over a one year period, open a savings account with United Bank and make monthly contributions to the account. They are also asked to summarize in writing what their dream of home ownership means to them.

 

Non-profit organizations in Massachusetts and Connecticut who want more information about PATH Plus should contact Moyah Smith, United’s Community Outreach Officer in Massachusetts, at (413) 787-1271 or msmith@bankatunited.com. For the PATH Plus program in the Connecticut region, please contact Tymina Follins, Community Outreach Officer, at (860) 512-2452 or tfollins@bankatunited.com.