“The beauty of Working Credit’s program is that it sets out to do one thing, and does it well,” says Susan Simon, Senior HR Consultant and Campus Services Training Coordinator. “People walk in thinking they know what credit is, but they don’t fully understand the ramifications of good versus bad credit, or how much impact the credit score can have on their financial and emotional well-being.”
Harvard has brought Working Credit’s financial wellness program to its dining services workers and parking attendants. At the Credit Building Workshop, participants learn about the rules of the credit scoring system and can sign up for one-on-one credit building counseling.
“The response has been enormous, and the follow-up counseling has really reached people,” says Simon. “They stop me in the halls to talk about what they’re learning.”
Harvard’s participants have good reason to be enthusiastic. Here are some of the results:
- After 18 months, 71% of all employees in the program improved their credit scores.
- The number of employees with a prime score increased by 30%.
- Employees with at least $1,000 of available credit on one or more credit cards increased by 41%.
Word of mouth from participants has been so strong that the Harvard custodians recently asked for the program. Simon stresses that she’s gotten positive feedback from everyone from hourly staff to management—many have asked if their spouses and adult children can participate.
“After the first meeting, Working Credit does all the follow up,” adds Simon. “Our employees truly appreciate the program, and it’s easy to implement.”