The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bank president talks credit scores on TR

By Andrew Brenner/repo

Students had their questions involving identity theft, bankruptcy and disputes on credit report errors answered by a professional banker Nov. 3 at a credit score workshop on TR Campus.Lucas Sawyer, vice president and chief deposit officer at Worthington National Bank in Fort Worth, asked students what questions they had, what they wanted to know and why they were there.

“I’m here because no one was here for me when I was in your seat,” he said.

He moved to the area from Indiana seven years ago for a wealth management job and said he learned about money very early on.

Sawyer said growing up in a family of entrepreneurs drove him to make a personal goal in high school to never live paycheck to paycheck.

He also said it was unfortunate that he had few viable resources and information for him growing up.

“The real world, as you know, is real different from the classroom,” Sawyer said. “And no matter what type of quality of information, as good as it is in the classroom, it’s different out there.” 

He said he wanted students to walk away with the answers they were seeking when they decided to come to the workshop.

“I always had a lot of questions in high school and college,” he said. “You’re not taught finance in school and you need to be. Most people, unfortunately, hit bottom before they start paying attention to it.”

Sawyer didn’t just lecture with a PowerPoint presentation. He got students involved in the discussion by focusing specifically on the things they wanted to learn about credit.

“I have things to talk about, but forget that. I mean, what did you come for? Let’s talk about that,” Sawyer said referring to his notes and handouts.

Students then asked questions on how to fix or improve their credit score, where to get their official credit score, how to dispute errors and solve identity theft issues as well as issues on filing bankruptcy.

Sawyer wrote a list of these questions on the board for everyone to see and went over each one in detail, asking more questions as he went along.

Students contributed issues they had with credit and could hear others’ stories and problems and learn from their experiences.

One student mentioned an issue with his credit score including medical charges from a state he had never even been to.

Sawyer told students exactly how to dispute such errors step by step and used specific examples to teach the audience.

“I like the way he did it,” said TR student Shatovia Green, who recently had her identity stolen.

She said that the workshop was actually fun, not boring, as opposed to other workshops she has attended.

“I wish it was a couple minutes longer,” Green said.

She said she worried that there were questions she forgot to ask and more information she could have learned.

TR student Don Battle said it was “pretty cool,” and he enjoyed Sawyer’s approach because he asked students for their questions rather than just lecture with a PowerPoint for an hour.

“It was very important that he did that. I learned a lot more information,” Battle said.

Sawyer provided his audience with resources for free credit reports and warned students to avoid sites like Freecreditreport.com, which charges money for a service the U.S. government provides for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. He told students that the three credit bureaus in the country provide annual free credit reports for everyone.

After explaining credit reports, Sawyer told his audience to take out their cell phones and mark their calendars with a reminder for a year from now to get a free credit report.

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