Brent Anderson, a hard working Seattleite came to Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union to get back on his feet after falling on hard times. Suffering from a dangerously low credit score and lack of improvement opportunities, Brent was “in need of some [serious] financial assistance.” We recently had a moment to sit down with Mr. Anderson to hear his story, find out how SMCU was able to help him, and get an update on where he is today.
Why did you join the credit union, and what was your first impression?
When I joined the credit union in early 2001, I was not doing well. My credit was horrible, and I was finding it amazingly difficulty to get a bank account, let alone anything else, at any other institution. When I walked into your Northgate location, I was hoping for something different but was sort of expecting more of the same. Almost immediately I was greeted by and sat down with the branch manger to discuss my predicament. I was impressed that the manager took such an active interest in, not only my situation, but in me as well. After looking at my credit report and a lengthy conversation, she gave me some suggestions about where I could improve my credit and the steps I needed to take to get back on track. In my experience, this level of service was highly unusual.
What steps did you take to improve your credit, and how did SMCU help?
It all started with the credit union believing in me. They helped me obtain secured loans, and then unsecured loans, and eventually Visa® credit cards. Each step we took, I got a little bit better at managing my money, a little better credit score, and more opportunities to get better products and better rates. Beyond just a bank account and credit card, I’ve since been able to finance a new car and purchase my first home.
How much has your credit improved?
It’s taken time and effort, but SMCU helped me improve my credit over 300 points. I was in pretty bad shape, and now I’m in the top tier of all reporting agencies.
What did you receive from SMCU that you tried and couldn’t get anywhere else?
I applied for and received high-rate loans at other financial institutions, but I wasn’t really improving my credit. No one ever helped me learn how to effectively manage my money and build good credit. As a result, I continued to flounder. SMCU gave me the tools and confidence to understand my spending habits and get back on my feet for good.
Now that your credit is improved, you can probably get financial products anywhere. What keeps you at SMCU?
The service I continually receive from the credit union staff as well as the ever-improving product and service offerings keep me coming back. I don’t ever plan on not being a member of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union.
Brent has moved past getting an account and improving his credit and is now utilizing the financial planning services offered by SMCU through LPL Financial to lay out an investment strategy and plan for his retirement. Thrilled with the level of attention he has received and success he has experienced, Brent has become an SMCU advocate and continually refers new members to the credit union to open accounts, talk with our team of financial advisors and start truly believing in a better financial institution.