Faces of Success: Steve Smith
Imagine walking into a bank with a dream of becoming a homeowner, only to have a lender deny your mortgage application. This was Steve Smith’s harsh reality a little over two years ago.
“They didn’t explain why they denied my loan application, they just told me I wasn’t approved,” said Smith.
As he left the bank, Smith’s lender referred him to the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center. The Nashville Financial Empowerment Center is a partnership between the Office of Mayor Megan Barry and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville that provides free 1-on-1 financial counseling to help Davidson County residents reduce debt and increase savings. Smith recalls how his first session inspired him to make necessary changes in his life.
“Sometimes you don’t understand how certain decisions you make now can impact your life in the future. I brought all of my paperwork to the first session; we pulled my credit report and started working on a plan to get my life back on track. It was a beautiful thing.”
More than two years later, Smith continues to attend sessions at the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center. He has reduced his debt by 85 percent and raised his credit score by almost 100 points; he also qualifies for a mortgage. Smith remains amazed this opportunity allowed him to become financially stable.
“I’m blessed that I woke up and came here. I never imagined this option would enable me to get my life back on track. People spend thousands of dollars for similar programs.”
From 2013-2015, the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center has helped 3,700 clients like Smith reduce their debt by $2.9 million and increase savings by $500,000. Now that he’s established his own savings account, Smith can start working toward fulfilling some of his other goals.
“Now, I can send my child to college; it also feels great to know that I can purchase my own home instead of renting. If you have debt issues or problems with your credit, visit the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center. Walking around with debt limits you.”
Thanks to the partnership between the Office of Mayor Megan Barry and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville on the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center, there are no financial limits in Smith’s foreseeable future.
To learn more about the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center, visit: https://www.unitedwaynashville.org/FEC