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Building Credit from the Bottom Up

With Virginia Coffee, Avon Branch Manager

As a branch manager, I help people reach their financial goals for every major life stage, whether that is purchasing a home, buying a car or saving for college. For example, buying a home is the largest purchase most people make in their lifetime, so it is incredibly important to be financially ready and it's a special journey for me to be a part of. 

I have been working with one special customer for almost 10 years—a young man who desperately wanted to buy a home, but didn’t have the funding or financial education to get him there. Here’s what his journey to homeownership can teach anyone about changing their financial future. 

Know your credit score.

When we first began working together, my customer wasn’t even aware of his credit score, so we pulled a credit report to find out where he stood. His score was so low that he could not be approved for a loan. The good news was, he was ready to put in the work and raise his score. 

Start building credit. 

My client had enough money to qualify for a secured loan, a type of a personal loan backed by collateral and often used for people who want to build credit. We did several of those, and over the course of a year he could slowly improve his credit. Eventually, it was strong enough that he qualified for a car loan, which I was able to help him secure, and that loan helped build his credit even further.

Keep your employment stable. 

This young man was an incredibly hard worker, but he had bounced from job to job, which created a great deal of stress and uncertainty as well as problems paying his bills on time. This in turn impacted his credit. By landing and keeping a more stable job, he was able to get back on track, reduce his worry and increase his score.

Form a relationship with your banker.

Just recently, this customer bought his own home, after a 10 year journey from being “financially challenged” to completely in control of his money. The best part of it all? I was there with him every step of the way!

 If you’re in a position to work on your financial outlook, it’s really important to find a banker who has your best interests at heart. No matter what the money-related question, challenge or opportunity comes your way, you will always have somebody you can turn to, trust, and depend on when it comes to your financial wellbeing.

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