As I have transitioned in to the world of finance, it has become abundantly clear to me that there is a scarcity of knowledge and understanding when it comes to credit and credit scores; especially from people younger than 30. In having conversations with this group, I have seen firsthand the confusion and fear in many eyes anytime credit is mentioned. I find this extremely worrisome, mainly because our world is so based on personal credit history, and the ratios it presents. Coming from a non-financial background, I can definitely appreciate the struggles younger people face when trying to grasp what credit is. The only time I really heard about credit growing up were snippets from my parents or from used car salesmen on TV trying to say I didn’t need it to buy a perfectly imperfect, “like new”, used car.
It wasn’t really until I started working for Verity, and went through training that I felt comfortable with the idea of credit, and owning my credit score. Unfortunately, our members don’t necessarily have the chance to sit in a training class dedicated to learning all about the minutia of credit; which is where we, as front of line staff, come in. We have such amazing opportunities to empower each of our member’s lives every time we do an application for them.
Being able to explain the idea of a “good” versus “bad” credit score, and what that means to the member can make such a difference. Encouraging people who are making strides in their financial life, and being sensitive to people who may not have the best relationship with credit are both equally valuable. Each relationship that we form with our members is going to be as unique as the member themselves, and the situations they face. That to me is incredibly powerful. Being able to acknowledge the challenges our members face when it comes to credit, and see a light at the end of the tunnel, even when they don’t, can impact not only their financial future, but their whole life as well.
In writing this blog, I started to think what more we could do individually, as well as a company to help our members feel more at ease when facing sometimes daunting topics like credit. Obviously, making sure each staff member is well versed in the concepts of credit is important, but that’s only one small part of it. Being able to actually sit down with members, and have conversations about credit, in an easily understandable and accessible way is going to be more beneficial than anything else. Through Verity’s extended training program, many front of line staff have had the opportunity to sit down with Mallory and Josh and really dive in to how to have better, more substantial dialogue. This has been paramount to the success that we have seen with our continued growth, and a testimony to the core of Verity’s principles.
Verity, as the name suggests, values truth in everything we do. By continuing to provide honest and open teaching as well as discussion, we can really continue to empower each and every one of our members lives.