by Selena Gregerson, Family Savings Credit Union
It's a single story that helps us make the best decisions for our members. During a recent on-site training session with Ed Swanson, a member came in needing her routing and account numbers. She wanted to set up auto-pay for her car payment from her checking account.
We could have done exactly that and sent her on her way, but what actually happened gives our job purpose and meaning. While she was waiting, Ed gave her a free credit checkup and discovered some disturbing figures; her auto loan rate (with another financial firm) was in the 30% range. After talking to Ed, she discovered that she paid 5 years’ worth of payments to see her balance change only $200. This news was devastating to her. This member was 62, living on social security, and she was struggling. Then she shared one other part of her story that solidified the need to intervene. She was raising her 6-year-old granddaughter because her own daughter was killed by a drunk driver a few years prior. Ed encouraged her to refinance her vehicle, which we did, and it lowered her payments each month and saved her from paying additional interest. We also gave her a credit card and taught her how to use it the right way to help her boost her score. She said that no one had ever helped her like Ed had. She was in tears as she left the office.
In what took 30 minutes, because good service takes time, we made a major difference in her life. If the tellers were simply order-fillers in this situation, we would have missed the opportunity to provide her the relief she desperately needed. It was a very special moment that we will never forget.
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