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Financial Literacy 720: Healthy Credit Scores = Wealth-building Opportunities 
Dozens of people in the Knoxville area took advantage of a recent coordinated blitz of credit-counseling workshops.

It was their enthusiasm that delighted the financial professionals providing the free expertise.

"We had more than 50 people participate in Financial Literacy 720 campaign kickoff events on July 20," said Joshalyn Hundley, Vice President of Community Development at First Horizon, one of the community organizations promoting a credit score of 720 as a path to financial wellness.

"They were asking 'When's the next counseling session?' and telling us 'You need to do more of this.' The people who attended were really invigorated. They understood the value of bettering their score."

Knoxville leaders, including Mayor Indya Kincannon, are supporting a regional awareness campaign and efforts by a broad coalition to assist individuals in achieving credit scores that will lead to financial sustainability.

Financial professionals say that achieving a credit score of 720 will set a course for financial wellness.

The average credit score in Tennessee is 682. In Knoxville, it's slightly higher – about 692. Both fall below the average national consumer score of 695.

A score of 700 or higher, however, can help someone get a loan with a better interest rate. That might make the difference in whether buying a home is possible or not – or whether a new business has access to the necessary start-up capital.

For these reasons, the Financial Literacy 720 campaign chose to kick off on July 20 – or 7/20.

“A healthy credit score can be a game-changer,” Mayor Kincannon said in promoting a series of July 20 counseling events. “It can open doors and create opportunities for wealth-building."

Local organizations offer free help year-round with credit counseling. Services are available to individuals and families who speak English and Spanish. 

Even if you missed the July 20 programs, individuals interested in bettering their credit score can contact any of the organizations participating in Financial Literacy 720 to inquire about free programs and technical assistance.

In the Knoxville area, organizations helping with Financial Literacy 720 include the United Way of Greater Knoxville, the Knoxville Area Urban League, Operation HOPE, First Horizon Bank, Truist, Regions Bank, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, BrightBridge CDFI, Pathway Lending CDFI, HomeSource east tennessee, and the University of Tennessee Extension.

For more information, visit www.uwgk.org/financial-literacy-hwy/.

Or contact Hundley at [email protected] or 865-971-2005.

"The interest in the community is definitely there," Hundley said. "Many people said they wanted to register but couldn't make it to a session on the 20th. So we encourage everyone to go online, check out the free resources being offered by so many trusted organizations, and follow through at a time that fits their work and family schedule.

"This campaign helped raise awareness that credit scores matter. As a result, we'll see many families in the coming weeks and months working hard to better their scores, then enjoy the rewards that will follow."
Posted by evreeland On 18 August, 2022 at 9:56 PM