Financial Literacy 720 Campaign Promotes Value of Credit Scores

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Financial Literacy 720 Campaign Includes Free Workshops

Posted: 07/05/2023
Mayor Indya Kincannon and other Knoxville leaders are supporting a regional campaign aimed at raising awareness and providing assistance to individuals striving for credit scores that promote financial stability.

According to financial experts and credit counseling organizations, achieving a credit score of 720 is a pivotal step toward financial well-being. A score of 700 or higher can significantly improve one's chances of securing loans with better interest rates. It can make a difference in whether purchasing a home becomes possible or whether a new business can access the necessary start-up capital.

The Financial Literacy 720 campaign is set to launch on July 20, conveniently represented by the date 7/20.

Mayor Kincannon emphasizes the importance of a healthy credit score. "It can unlock opportunities and pave the way for wealth-building,” she said. “The good news is that numerous local organizations offer free credit counseling services and are ready to lend their expertise."

More details and a list of upcoming Financial Literacy 720 classes are posted on the United Way's website

The average credit score in Tennessee is 702, according to Experian, while Knoxville's average is around 711, WalletHub reports. Both fall slightly below the national average consumer score of 714. However, it’s worth noting in the previous year, both Tennessee and Knoxville’s averages fell below 700, indicating an improvement.

“Conversations about saving or money management are important. However, the conversation explaining compound interest, interest rates, debt ratio, and credit is also especially important and extremely helpful for youth and adults,” said Joshalyn Hundley, Vice President of Community Development at First Horizon, one of the community organizations involved in promoting a pathway to attaining financial wellness. 

“You don’t know what you don’t know, so these sessions provide an opportunity for candid conversation that hopefully will become casual conversation at home.”

Knoxville-area organizations partnering with Financial Literacy 720 include the United Way of Greater Knoxville, Operation HOPE, First Horizon Bank, Truist, Regions Bank, Pathway Lending CDFI, HomeSource East Tennessee, Simmons Bank, Home Federal Bank and Pinnacle Bank.

Individuals seeking to improve their credit scores are strongly encouraged to reach out to participating organizations in Financial Literacy 720 to inquire about the available free programs and technical assistance.

These free resources are available to English and Spanish speakers, catering to individuals and families.

“There are opportunities for one-on-one sessions to formulate a personal financial plan. No topic is off limits,” Hundley said. “A credit score of 720 is the goal, and financial literacy knowledge is the key to decreasing the generational wealth gap and achieving the goal.

“Understanding the data can help inform policy, programs, and service offerings, and can provide a person a greater understanding of their specific situation,” she added. “In a nutshell, your personal credit score not only is a barrier to your personal growth, it also affects your community at large.”