How CFA Changed One Scholar’s View of Homeownership 

Like many college students, Taelor Ferguson was more focused on getting through her course load than building her financial future. But when she learned about the Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA) her sophomore year at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, that all changed.

“Most college students were thinking about what to buy for their room or how to spend their money,” she says. “But CFA taught me to think about how money could affect my future, particularly the value of building credit and saving.”

Once she became a CFA Scholar, Ferguson participated in activities and soaked up as much knowledge as she could. She eventually ended up serving as the cohort president for North Carolina Central. 

The contacts she made as a CFA Scholar were invaluable. For example, through CFA, she got an internship with Rocket Mortgage, which ultimately led to a full-time role as a refinance mortgage loan officer once she graduated.  

Today she works with HomeFree-USA as a client relationship manager. “I work with first-time homebuyers and homeowners that are looking to purchase a second property,” she says. “I help them get started by showing them how HomeFree-USA can guide them on their journey.” 

In that position, Ferguson has soared. “Taelor is a role model for students or any individual who has major conflicting priorities,” says Gwen Garnett, Executive Director of CFA. “During college, she was a star on the track team, a high performing student majoring in IT, and she made it a priority to learn how to improve the financial trajectory for herself and those around her.” 

The lessons Ferguson learned as a CFA Scholar also inspired her to adjust her timeline for buying a house. Years ago, she thought buying a house was something you did after you got married, settled down and had children. She figured once she graduated from college she would move back home for a while and then simply start renting. Today she sees homebuying as a wealth-building strategy that you’re never too young to implement, and she’s making plans to buy her first house.  

With a bird’s eye view of the homebuying process, she also has a message for her peers who are either still in college or beginning their professional careers. She encourages them to learn as much about finances as they can and to look for ways that they can begin to build generational wealth now.   

“Procrastination comes from a place of not knowing,” she says. “To overcome it, do your research and seek out individuals to ask questions.” One you’re educated, consider homeownership as a way to create a financial legacy for yourself, she adds. “Your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home. Instead, it can be a doorway to creating generational wealth.”