Since Paula uses a scooter, she says that she “always had to depend on somebody” to get around out of her house. To drive herself around, she would need a modified van – but she was shocked when she discovered how expensive vans and brand-new lifts were. She’s on a fixed income and, when she came to Northwest Access Fund, she had “no credit at all.” She explains, “I never thought I would get financed.”

Northwest Access Fund came highly recommended to Paula, and she decided she’d apply and see if she could get a loan. When she was approved, she named her van “Blessing.” She says that others don’t call it by its name, but she does. “It’s such a blessing to me, so I call it that. It shows me that nothing is impossible.”

Paula explains that the payment for her van “is a drop in the bucket compared to the benefits” that she gets from it. “It’s great. I can come and go as I wish; I can go wherever I wish – it’s hard to explain how incredible it is.” She can also see her grandchildren much more easily and on her own time.

As the loan repayments are reported to all three major credit bureaus, Paula attributes the improvement in her credit to the loan. She now has a good credit history, which made a difference when she arranged a mortgage to purchase a new home: “That stuff runs downhill.”

Paula would encourage anyone who needs funding for assistive technology to apply to Northwest Access Fund: “Try it, go for it – you’ve got nothing to lose. I thought I had everything to lose. But I did it, and I was wrong.”

An image of a cartoonish white wheelchair van, with a cartoon of a person in a wheelchair above it.