About Credit Building Nation and Justine PETERSEN

Learning about personal finance is good, but it is not enough.

To realize results clients have to put knowledge in action. This concept is called financial capability. Justine PETERSEN helps people obtain financial products and services that produce real world results:  higher credit scores, access to affordable credit and bank accounts. Justine PETERSEN (JP) knows people’s lives improve when they are not only financially literate, but financially capable.

Many not-for-profit organizations are interested in providing credit building products to their clients but are constrained due to regulatory barriers, lack of lending or processing experience, and staffing resources.

Justine PETERSEN launched Credit Building Nation – our partnership model with other nonprofit organizations to expand credit building across the country – to address the lack of access to credit building products in other geographic markets.

Through this model, JP certifies other organizations’ financial coaches/counselors on JP’s proven “Credit as an Asset” credit building method. Once trained, the partner organizations incorporate JP’s method into their financial counseling. As counselors identify clients who could benefit by pairing financial product to financial counseling, JP provides loan origination, loan servicing, and credit bureau reporting.

Credit Building Nation is operated by Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation. Justine PETERSEN, a Missouri not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, wholly owns a U.S. Department of Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Great Rivers Community Capital (Great Rivers). Justine PETERSEN’s mission of connecting institutional resources with the needs of low- to moderate income families so they may build long- term assets is fulfilled by its products, which include credit building and financial education, homeownership preparation and retention, and micro-enterprise lending and training. It is a company that combines effective response to demand with an efficient and effective business model. Since inception in 1997, Justine PETERSEN and Great Rivers have:

  • Counseled individually 30,000 families on credit building strategies;
  • Assisted 4,500 to purchase homes, accessing $400 million in safe, affordable mortgage loans;
  • Originated over $35 million in small business /micro-enterprise loans and $16 million in small dollar loans to 12,000 people that were unable to access financing any place else;
  • Provided technical assistance and training to over 12,000 micro-entrepreneurs; and
  • Opened 1,500 IDA accounts and facilitated 1,000 matched withdrawals for asset purchases.

Annual Report