Employee Spotlight: Debi HoneycuttFor our next Employee Spotlight, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Debi Honeycutt. Debi has an infectiously positive, larger than life persona. Her positive mentality helps to instill confidence in her coworkers, and borrowers, and inspires them to reach their financial goals. Enjoy our newest Employee Spotlight and stay tuned for next month's feature!
What is your title?
Vice President, Senior Credit Enhancement Specialist or as I like to refer to myself, Credit Guru!
Can you provide a basic overview of your job responsibilities?
I analyze credit files provided to me by our loan officers. I will identify any credit problems that might exist within the file and then compile potential solutions for improvement. My top priority is getting borrowers the highest credit score possible with the least amount of monetary output - in the shortest amount of time.
After analyzing the files, I'll provide the borrower with what I refer to as a "credit road map". This road map, if followed, can potentially increase the borrower's credit score. It will indicate any costs associated with increasing their score and the projected turnaround time for improvement. What we offer is an invaluable resource, but the borrower has to want the house more than we want it for them. I often encourage borrowers to create a storyboard - to gather pictures of their dream house, car, furniture, etc. to serve as personal motivation.
I truly believe that every file deserves eyeballs. Whether you have medical bills, recently lost your job, fraud, have a file containing erroneous info or are going through a divorce... I want to find a way to help you. I enjoy paying it forward. People often connect with me around town and ask questions about their credit or the home buying process. I love providing them with my business card and connecting them to our loan officers and resources.
How long have you been with TowneBank Mortgage?
I've been with TowneBank Mortgage for 9 years and have spent over 30 years in the mortgage industry - and it's never dulled! Every day is totally different than the day before - and CHALLENGING - which I love.
How did you get started?
I was introduced to TowneBank Mortgage through a mutual friend and began my career as Senior Credit Enhancement Specialist. I was made Vice President last year.
Did you have prior exposure to the mortgage industry?
I worked for a credit reporting agency for 26 years. That experience has proven extremely beneficial now when I'm working to have something removed from a credit report.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with a super supportive team and seeing the benefits and rewards of borrowers realizing their homeownership dreams! We're paying it forward to the clients and that's what makes the difference - it's personal. We are not here to judge anyone based on credit. We're here to help you. We'll exhaust every avenue to come up with new approaches or different techniques to get our borrowers to their final goal. And that's what sets us apart... enthusiasm and dedication.
Who are your role models?
My family - both immediate family and work family. I receive invaluable support from my husband and the many talented, driven and successful people here. The support is like a sponge, you can absorb it when you need it.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I believe that you need to have a passion for anything that you invest time in. Some days that passion may not be as strong - maybe it's a little tired - but it all goes back to paying it forward. If you've been successful in your job and love what you do, then it's your responsibility to share that enthusiasm with those you're working with.
I work extremely hard, but I also play hard. You have to understand that you're giving 100% at work and can only continue to do the best that you can. There's no need to burn yourself out - there has to be a balance. The people I work with help to keep me in check.
And you need to take time for you... go get that massage!
When you're not at work - how do you enjoy spending time?
I love traveling and I used to travel every year. We have two labs and recently took a "dog vacation" in the Outer Banks. I'm an island girl at heart - all islands are great - and I also love history. Anywhere that I can visit ruins, like Tulum, are high up on my list. When you're in a place that has historical significance, you're transported back in time. Places like that have such an impact on me.
I do also tend to gravitate towards water activities - boating, kayaking or jet skiing. Water helps me to relax and clear my head. Oh, and I enjoy riding motorcycles!
Do you have a hidden talent?
The ability to constantly project a positive attitude and provide reassurance to borrowers on such a personal subject - like credit.
What is the first item on your bucket list?
We were going to do a Transatlantic crossing to Spain - we were booked and ready to go. Unfortunately, our ship was in the shop for normal repairs and a crane fell on it. I took that as a sign, but I still want to do it!
What was your first-time home buying experience?
At that time, it was just easy for me. I relied on my parents for input because I wasn't in the mortgage and banking industry at the time. The only thing I had to be concerned about was a down payment. I went to Virginia Beach Savings and Loans for my home loan because that's where everyone went back then. It was a relatively pain-free experience, but it lacked the warm and fuzzy feeling that we provide as a lender today - a sense of family.
Any advice for first-time home buyers?
Preparation! Get ready for the ride of your life. You'll want to be comfortable talking to your loan officer and asking questions. I suggest doing your credit report early and having it analyzed to know where you stand. Direct your real estate agent to what you want, based on what you can afford. I know it's a competitive market but there is potential to refinance later. It will be stressful because it's new and exciting (and scary), but you're not walking alone. We won't let you!
Advance Financial Group is a mortgage lender and not a financial advisor, credit repair or consumer credit counseling company. Advance Financial Group does not provide investment, tax or legal advice. Advance Financial Group does not directly provide services or assistance repairing, modifying, improving or correcting credit.
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