By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium
When it comes to building wealth, financial literacy is very important. JP Morgan Chase understands this and is focused on efforts to educate and empower the community.
Through programs like Community branches, where bank branches are built or refurbished, Chase is reinventing how financial institutions connect with the communities they serve. With a new look and approach, these re-imagined spaces are built to nurture relationships, and help Chase help their customers focus on the four pillars of financial literacy — earnings, savings, credits, and landownership.
“I want to talk about the community branches because this is where a lot of your information and resource pools are going to be,” says Tristan Lockhart, JP Morgan Chase Business Relationship Manager. “As we continue to grow our community branches you’re going to see how we include credit in the full picture of financial health.”
From managing your personal finances to launching a business, credit plays a vital role in your ability to leverage, build, and grow. Chase offers powerful tools like the Credit Journey app that helps customers understand and strengthen their credit standing with credit score tracking, identity monitoring, alerts, and insights. According to Lockhart, the Credit Journey App is an excellent resource for people to “really take a look at credit, how to start credit and build it from scratch.”
Credit plays a role in all aspects of financial growth. Regardless, if someone is looking to buy a home, a car, a line of credit or starting a business how you responsibly preside over your credit is essential
“Even if you wanted to start a business or buy a home, even if applying for business credit, your personal credit history plays an important role on the decision on whether one’s application is accepted,” says Devin Stubblefield, a financial advisor.
Johnny Greene, Jr., a finance manager in the auto industry, agrees and says that your credit score is vitally important if you are going to engage in commerce in today’s world.
“Financial literacy is like good health for your body,” says Greene. “We do not live forever, so we eat our fruits and vegetables in the hopes to preserve life, excellent or good credit is like your fruits and vegetables to preserve a healthy financial future.”
After the pandemic seized the pulse of the world its affects highlighted the fragile financial stability of our society, including the lack of financial resources needed for both business and personal financial growth.
“The pandemic really highlighted the importance of credit,” says Lockhart. “There our businesses out there like my own that need the presence of people and through lockdowns and other appropriate measures people oriented businesses were not able to accomplish this. But how did my business and other businesses survive through the pandemic? It’s because we leverage credit.”
“I think the misconception is people believe you only get credit when you need it and I am here to say that that is not necessarily the case,” adds Lockhart. “It just like your body, you want to insure that you do your routine checkups and insure that your keeping it healthy, because obviously when you need it (your body), you want it to perform at its peak, you don’t want it to break down. So, credit is essential to your financial health and essential to meeting your financial goals.”
Chase is really trying to start with basics. Although Chase does not provide professional credit advisory, their staff and professionals do provide pathways and referrals as tools in teaching and suggesting how one can begin to establish or rebuild their credit.
“You have to be disciplined,” says Greene. “Once you learn it and once you know it, there is an ebb and flow about credit. Surround yourself with knowledgeable and like-minded people, family members, community members to help you sustain your credit journey. Credit in today’s financial environment is like air, it is vital.”