Free financial literacy, credit program coming to Jackson

The First Ones to Attend should Be the Jackson City Council


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First Tennessee Jackson President Bill White speaks about what Operation HOPE will provide to the community, Thursday at its branch on North Highland Avenue. (Photo: OMER YUSUF/The Jackson Sun)

Omer Yusuf, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank is partnering with Operation HOPE to offer free financial literacy programs and credit counseling in Jackson.

First Tennessee announced it is opening an Operation HOPE Inside office at its North Highland Avenue branch. Operation HOPE is a national nonprofit which helps people improve their financial literacy and credit scores.

Operation HOPE Midwest Regional Vice President Sherita Goodman said she knew there was a need for the service in Jackson.

“I used to have people from the Jackson area call me, ‘can you come here and help,’” Goodman said. “’Well, I can but that was a little too far for me to travel.’ I knew the need was here because of the calls I would get, and I would actually do some coaching over the phone. So to have someone physically located here is exciting.”

Workshopping a better financial future

The free service is open to everyone, not only First Tennessee customers. Tiffany Nance, the HOPE inside banker, will hold a credit and money management workshop once a month at First Tennessee.

Once the individual completes the workshop, the banker will sit down with them and pull up their credit score, look at it line-by-line, look at their budget and put a plan together to help them improve their financial situation.

“The goal is to get them to at least a 700 credit score,” Goodman said. “Because once they get to that level, the opportunities will open up for them to get lower rates on loans and lower rates on insurance.”

First Tennessee Jackson president Bill White said he was impressed with Operation HOPE Chairman John Hope Bryant’s speech about the nonprofit at a leadership conference several years ago in Memphis. Shortly after, First Tennessee announced the beginning of its partnership with Operation HOPE.

“If we can make any effort toward helping the underserved in this community and improve their financial wherewithal, and help them improve their credit scores, we can help remove blemishes from their credit score. We can help them get into new homes and become first-time home buyers — then we’re improving the community here,” White said.

Goodman said people want to do better, and love the idea of knowing there is an organization that will help them achieve their goals for free.

“Today, you may not need us, but tomorrow could come and we’re going to be there to help you,” Goodman said.

The first Operation HOPE workshop in Jackson is set for Sept. 9. For more information or to register you can contact Tiffany Nance at tiffany.nance@operationhope.org or (731) 217-3195.

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