For this father and daughter, Darryl and Mikayla Simpson, credit was more than just a score. Read their story about their learning experiences through the Bridges Financial Management Class.
Darryl and Mikayla are two graduates from the summer of 2016 Bridges Financial Management Class (BFMC), which took place in June at Ivy Tech. Prior to this class, they had not been involved in any of the Bridges programs. Mikayla discovered the financial management class at a school fair which took place at Ivy Tech, where she works and is a student. After speaking with one of our representatives about the opportunities presented in the class, she strongly encouraged her father, Darryl, to attend the classes with her.
Darryl was beaming the entire interview because he was so grateful for what he was able to learn in the class. “Initially, I thought it would be boring info, but what I walked away with, honestly, was a wealth of valuable information,” he told me.
There were three valuable key lessons learned. These were: learning who financial predators are and why you should avoid them, learning how to manage your credit score, and then, acquiring strategies to maintain your credit once you have gotten rid of some negative marks on your credit report. After this, the next step is budgeting, and the BFMC provides tools for creating and following a budget. “All in all, everything, the whole class, there was never a boring session…it was well worth it,” said Darryl, nodding.
During the five-week course, SJC Bridges brings in a variety of people with access to helpful community resources. Many of these people are linked to banks in the area and act as financial mentors for those in the class.
Darryl let me know that he is still in contact with one of the women from the course, and he explained that the class provided “a pool of resources to draw from about any financial questions.” He especially appreciated the down-to-earth approach to discussing finances.
In general, some basics to maintaining good credit include small, but important, tasks, such as paying your bills on time. However, the BFMC offered a little extra secret for Darryl and Mikayla. As Darryl put it, “your credit score can affect your job as well.” He continued, saying, “If you think about it, if you can’t manage your money, maybe you can’t manage duties on the job. Managing your money shows responsibility and productivity in your personal life.”
Darryl described credit as something that may act as a reflection of your personal character. If you create poor credit for yourself, a company may see that as a sign that you will also create poor credit for them, too.
For Mikayla, she found a way to become excited about paying bills. “When I get my bills, I get excited to pay them, because I know what I want my future credit to look like,” she said. “I want to invest myself in learning about finances and not just blowing money. This way, I know what I am looking forward to when I have a family and children. I want them to know more and have better than I have,” said Mikayla.
Of course, there were similar sentiments from Darryl. Besides Mikayla, he also has a son. He said he was grateful for the influence his children have on him and for encouraging him to continue learning.
Since the class, Darryl has been working with a credit repair company to improve his credit even more, and to learn what needs to be deleted and repaired. He is taking these steps to help lay the foundation for his dream, which is to open an educational center for low-income children struggling with their grades. And he is now applying for the microloan offered from the financial management class. After finishing her degree, Mikayla wants to travel and see more of the world.