by Carol Chernikoff, Alternatives FCU
It is true, bad things happen to good people. A new member approached us to refinance her car loan. Her credit report showed consistent late pays on the vehicle, charge offs with credit cards, and medical collections. With this information, denial seemed likely; however, our training from Rex Johnson made the difference in this situation. Instead of denying her right away, we learned her story.
We asked questions and our member's responses proved the reason we do our job the way we do it. This was her story: Her fiancé committed suicide two years ago. They both counted on each other’s income to be able to afford the payments. Grief stricken, she was forced to move and pay all of the bills by herself, which created an unforeseeable financial strain. Even though she was struggling, she kept making late monthly payments to her former institute, just to keep the vehicle from being charged off and repossessed. After gathering more information, we saw that the dates on her records showed where her payments became late and the effect it had on her score from that point forward. We took the time to understand that all the reasons we could have denied her were exactly the reasons why we needed to help her instead.
After the appointment, she expressed how grateful she was that we took the time to speak with her. She even appreciated the guidance provided by the use of LSCI's "Climbing the Credit Mountain" Training Tool to work toward the goal of building her credit. She couldn’t thank us enough for treating her like a person and not another number, since her experience had been that other financial institutions just sent her a denial letter in the mail. After she left, there was a great feeling all around that we helped her get out of what she thought was an impossible situation, and we helped save her money. We still have the warm and fuzzy feeling inside from her hugs, and we know we have built a lifelong relationship. We have since approved her refinance request. LSCI’s training teaches us that the interview process is essential and using the building credit tool helps members to achieve their goals. This is why we come to work every day. We are people helping people.
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