BALTIMORE –– Destinations Credit Union said it is partnering with Operation HOPE to bring credit and money management coaching to the Greater Baltimore
community by opening a new “HOPE Inside” location in its main office.
Offered at no cost to participants, HOPE Inside Destinations includes an Operation HOPE financial wellbeing coach providing educational workshops and one-on-one coaching, the credit union said.
Destinations said it is the first credit union in the country to offer HOPE Inside. The services of the HOPE financial wellbeing coach are completely free and open to both members and non-members of the CU. Destinations has also provided office space and resources for this HOPE Inside office.
“With our official industry mantra of ‘People Helping People,’ this is the work credit unions need to do,” said Brian Vittek, president/CEO of Destinations Credit Union. “All members and local residents deserve the opportunity to receive financial dignity.”
Transforming ‘Disabling Mindsets’
According to Destinations, the Credit and Money Management Program, a core focus of the award-winning HOPE Inside financial empowerment model developed by Operation HOPE, is designed to transform disabling financial mindsets—teaching people the language of money, how to navigate credit, and make better decisions with the money they have.
“Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive economy through financial empowerment – and financial dignity,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “Think of the difference our programs make in people’s lives as they improve their FICO scores by 100 points or more. Think about the impact on families and communities as more people and more local businesses succeed. And consider the new investments and jobs that come to communities where people are financially secure. We are proud to partner with Destinations Credit Union to bring meaningful impact to the residents of this community and beyond.”
According to Destinations CU, HOPE Inside had its genesis in bank branches, but widespread market adoption continues to bring sponsored offices to government facilities, grocery stores, hospitals, churches, college campuses, and other community locations. Today, there are 120 existing locations across the nation. Every HOPE Inside location holds consumer credit counseling certifications, and CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, HUD, EITC, and FEMA applications and partnerships.
Through the HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities initiative, the focus on raising client FICO scores to 700 is at the foundation of all HOPE Inside programming, the organization said.
“Understanding how finances work is an integral part of succeeding financially,” Vittek added. “Operation HOPE coaches are trained to help people understand and improve their FICO scores. They also equip entrepreneurs with the tools and training to follow their dreams, and help individuals and families understand the path to homeownership.”