Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase
By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium
With technology at our fingertips, it is very easy for people to access information. But when it comes to financial decisions there still is a human element involved if people are truly going to make solid financial decisions. In an effort to get consumers more comfortable accessing financial resources and information, Chase has created Chase Community Centers.
Within each center there are three types of financial expertise that are there to answer any and all questions one may have regarding the best and most efficient ways families can utilize and capitalize on their earnings, the best ways to save and the overall role financial literacy and banking plays in our daily lives.
Chase Community Centers provide the opportunity for community members to meet with a Chase Community Manager, a specialist in introducing you to the many avenues available to you to better understand the nature and intricacies of financial stewardship, or a Senior Business Consultant who offers advice to those interested in starting a business or is an already existing business to help navigate this ever-changing business environment and prepare your business for the unpredictable nature of business, take a look at the devastating affects COVID-19 had on businesses.
In addition, a Home Lending Advisor is available to guide you through the complexities of homeownership. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or seasoned homeowner, a Home Lending Advisor is available to answer questions and provide advice based on the circumstances and needs of individual client.
Sheila Winston, a senior business consultant with Chase, recently sat down with the Seattle Medium and talked about how these one-on-one conversations with a banking professional can help families manage their money and budgets more effectively as a part of their overall financial plan for the future. From home lending advisors, to senior business consultants Chase Community Centers offer consumers an opportunity to speak to an expert, develop a plan and the satisfaction of knowing that they don’t have to be alone in their financial journey.
According to Winston, there are a lot of tools Chase Community Centers have available for the communities they serve. Advisors offer events and functions in which they educate businesses, organizations, churches and the like on how to get community members more involved and educated on the best ways to manage their finances. And as much as there is a plethora of technology out there like online banking apps, nothing can replace that interpersonal interaction that meeting with an advisor or attending financial workshops offer.
“Speaking with someone at the bank can feel intimidating, but my job is focused on helping people consider the possibilities when it comes to planning for and meeting their financial goals,” says Winston. “It brings me such great joy to be able to help business members from my community become financially healthier and more resilient.”
Designed to help communities and families become more financially aware, disciplined and literate, Chase Community Centers provide an opportunity for clients and potential clients to strengthen their understanding of financial literacy by engaging in conversations with a community manager about one or more of the following topics:
• Buying your first home: Home Lending Advisors are available to help on understand the homeownership process – from determining what you can afford, building a budget and establishing a savings plan for a down payment. Also, your Home Lending Advisor provides information on the availability of alternative resources to help cover closing or down payment costs, he
• Budgeting: A Senior Business Consultant or Community Manager are there to help you develop your personal or business plan and to keep you focused on managing your debt, making room to save for small and big purchases and making your monthly payments. They also provide you with assistance in preparing for larger life events like saving for a college or university or purchasing brick and mortar to house your business. These conversations help you understand where you stand fiscally to guide you in the right direction.
• Starting or growing your business: If you are looking to start a business or are already a business owner and looking to expand and grow, Community Managers can and will connect you to experts like Winston, who offer mentorship to established businesses. Through this mentorship your advisor can introduce you to resources and tools to help manage, launch, grow and develop your business.
• Building and managing your credit: A strong personal and business credit score is the foundation for many things, including helping you qualify for lower interest rates on your home, business, or car loan. Knowing your credit score is the first step, which can be done through tools like Credit Journey. Community Managers host workshops on credit health that offer tips and suggestions on building or managing your credit score.
• Managing your money: The Chase Mobile app allows you to bank on your terms – from managing money, making payments or sending money to a friend. You also can get help managing your kids’ money needs. We also can help you with tips and resources for financial caregiving for older loved ones. Ask your Community Manager about options available for kids and teens, or ways to help protect you and your loved ones from financial abuse or fraud
“What we’ve done at Chase is we have different positions that we have opened up for the community so that they can come in and conversate about different things,” says Winston. [It’s important] for our community member to just have the confidence to go in and talk with one of our experts — whether it’s a community manager, a senior business consultant or a home lending advisor.”
“Chances are, you handle banking transactions, like paying bills, transferring or sending money, or even depositing checks, from your mobile phone and while technology allows you to bank at your fingertips, planning for milestone moments in your life may warrant advice from an expert,” says Winston. “Meeting with a local Chase Community Manager, Sr. Business Consultant orHome Lending Advisor and attending financial health workshops can help equip you with the information and tools to make your personal or existing business financial goals a reality.”