Each of us begins the journey toward financial dignity from different starting points. Likewise, we all have a preferred method of receiving information and building up trust with our financial wellbeing coaches. Norma‘s journey began when she attempted to receive a personal loan from her bank and was denied. After her bank gave her contact information for Jessica Hamel from HOPE Inside First Horizon Clarksville, she quickly followed up. The only thing is, she preferred meeting to discuss her finances in person. And so, when the time was right Jessica honored that request and they began walking toward Norma’s new financial future. Read her story in her own words below.
“I first heard about Jessica and Operation HOPE in March of 2020. I had gone to First Horizon Bank to apply for a personal loan. I was denied. I was completely shocked; I had no idea how bad my credit was. The banker gave me Jessica’s card and told me about what she does. It took me a few days before I called her. I was feeling trapped and very discouraged, I honestly didn’t see how financial coaching could teach me or help me. I just knew I didn’t want to keep feeling so depressed about my finances, I figured calling Jessica couldn’t hurt.
Jessica was working from home due to COVID-19 and I wanted to meet in person, not on the computer. In September when Jessica went back to the office, I was first in line to meet her. When I had my first credit and money management meeting with Jessica, I was blown away. We talked about my spending habits, how to save and we reviewed my credit report. I learned so much about what goes into making up a credit score, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about credit. Understanding the core items that make up my credit made it easy to understand what Jessica was asking of me on my work plan. I have been able to take home this knowledge and help my husband and children.
When I entered coaching my credit score was 579. I am now at 627 and I have paid off (settled) 9 collections. I know my score will continue to increase as we start working on my credit card balances.
The amount of confidence I have gained from working with Jessica is immeasurable. I have been so empowered. I am no longer afraid to have conversations with creditors and to actually know what to say because of what I have learned. Even at home, because of my husband and I talking more about money, we have made a plan together and don’t fight about money anymore.
Six months ago, I didn’t see a future, I had no HOPE. Now, I can see the home I am going to own, I can see my garden in the backyard, I can see hope for my future.”
– Norma, HOPE Inside Client