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Member Stories

One Chime Member Shares His Story Of Credit, Chaos, And A Shiny New Car

Meet Jeremy - A Chime member who surprised his family with a shiny new car. Read on for Jeremy’s inspiring story, his honest beliefs, and his credit journey.

Chime Team • August 23, 2021

illustration of chime credit builder car and car

Hey Chime fam! Every day, we interact with our community on social media, and it’s always uplifting. Last month, we met a member with a very special story, and we had to learn more!

Hailing from Fresno, CA, Jeremy is a true family man. When he’s not hanging out with his kids and wife at home, he works as a salesperson—but what really piqued our interest was when he tweeted that he was able to surprise his wife with a brand new car, bow and all! 🤯

Keep scrolling to learn about Jeremy’s inspiring story, his honest beliefs, and his hilarious first thought when he first signed up for the secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card.

Why Chime?

Jeremy first joined Chime in 2018 after he finally put his foot down on overdraft fees. “I got tired of it,” he says, and started searching for fee-free banking¹. “That’s when I came across Chime, and I’ve been with them since.” 

With all that said, Jeremy’s favorite part about banking through Chime surprised us, and touched us. He mentioned how we’re always in touch with our community via social media—that’s how we found him in the first place! He also told us “interacting with customers, that’s what builds a better business,” and we believe that 100%. The truth is, we’re only as strong as the community we create together, and the pleasure is all ours. <3 

The Power of Building Good Credit

Jeremy signed up for Credit Builder when we first launched it back in 2020. He said he didn’t really understand it but, as a salesperson, he works with credit every day. Because of that, he wanted to “figure out how to use it” and see where it takes him!

Hilariously, when we asked Jeremy if he thought the Credit Builder card would actually work, he was super blunt: “To be honest, no, I didn’t think it would work.” But, he told us, in just 8 months “my credit just, it skyrocketed.”² He said that because he didn’t understand how a credit card could improve someone’s credit so dramatically, he was pleasantly surprised by his results! Now, he and his wife use the card for almost every purchase.

It’s important to note that credit scores are based on many factors, and impacts will vary by member. For context, Chime members average a 30 point increase in their credit scores with regular ​​use and regular, on-time payments.³ Members starting with high credit scores and longer credit histories may see less significant changes whereas impacts for those, like Jeremy, building or rebuilding their scores may be more substantial.

Getting Knocked Down (And Getting Back Up Again)

We all go through rough times, and for Jeremy, that was way back in 2016, before he even joined Chime. His job situation changed abruptly, and he said “I went from really good money down to nothing.” It forced him into “survival mode”—he still had a mortgage to pay and his family to feed. He didn’t have a lot of options, so he did what he could—” I just had to let it go.”

“I ended up selling the house … letting my credit cards [go].”

With such dramatic life changes, it’s understandable how “survival mode” for Jeremy looked like doing whatever was necessary to keep his family afloat during a particularly hard time. Who has the forethought to think about credit scores when they need to think about tomorrow? But Jeremy, ever candid, told us his reason to share this story is that—it’s the past. He got through it. and with that life lesson, he got to work starting to rebuild his life.

Rebuilding Savings, Credit, and The Future

After letting all of his old cards go, Credit Builder was Jeremy’s first credit card in a long time. He said his only goal when he signed up “was just really trying to get my score back up to where it was.” After a couple of months though, Jeremy had started to figure out how to really use it. He told us that because he works so much, his wife is usually the one responsible for paying the bills. So, he started “paying all [their] bills with Credit Builder” When reminiscing about the early days of using a Credit Builder card, Jeremy told us that it gave him “a chance to rebuild.” What more could we ask for?

A Shiny New Car with A Shiny New Credit Score

When it came to a surprise for his wife, Jeremy had been planning this for a minute. “When we let a bunch of stuff go, we got rid of our leases.” They purchased an older vehicle, and it was a lot of maintenance, a lot of stress, and “a lot of headache.” He knew that he wanted to “get something newer” so that he and his family would “be able to go out of town and travel”—so that’s exactly what he did.

Jeremy didn’t tell anyone about his plans until the night before he bought the car, when he spilled the beans to his wife. It was a great surprise, and he said that she was just happy that we were able to get a new car. The next morning, Jeremy, his wife, and his daughter stood triumphant at the car dealership with a shiny new car (topped with a bow!) ready to drive home.

The Future is Even Better Credit

Having come a long way since not having a credit card, Jeremy now has multiple—but don’t worry, the Credit Builder Card is still his main one. “I only have used [the other cards] in basically an emergency.” He tells us “for my everyday purchases, I still use the Credit Builder,” and we’ll be with him every point of the way!

With his improved credit score, Jeremy isn’t stopping at just one major purchase. 

“Next year, it’s going to be buying a house.” 

Ever ambitious, he tells us that they were actually planning on buying a home this year, but they’re waiting to see if the markets dip. His confidence when he says that he’s looking forward to being a homeowner again is brilliant, and we’re confident that no matter when they decide to make the leap, Jeremy’s credit score will be stronger than ever. 

What Would You Do with A Better Credit Score?

Jeremy’s story about his Credit Builder journey is inspiring and honest, and it’s proof that it’s possible to improve a credit score that seems like it just won’t budge. If you’re interested in making (or remaking) your first big purchase or just planning for the future, check out Chime’s Credit Builder card!
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Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Chime Visa® Credit Builder Card is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

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1 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven location or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Other fees such as third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.

2 On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

3 Based on a representative study conducted by TransUnion®, members who started using Chime Credit Builder in September 2019 observed a median credit score (VantageScore 3.0) increase of 30 points by January 2020. On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score.

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