Taking a personal interest in all loan applicants regardless of their credit status is an approach that comes naturally to Faith Perrault, collections and loan manager at Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union, Springfield, Mass.
For Perrault, lending is about compassion as much as it’s about dollars and cents.
“I was raised to be honest and hold integrity in the highest regard, so it’s always been my philosophy to do what’s right for people— just like I would want them to do what’s right for me,” she says. “That’s been passed on to me by my parents and grandparents and it’s something I’d like to pass on to my children.
“Doing what’s right for people is also the philosophy of the credit union, so I fit right in,” she adds.
Members are not only owners of Pioneer Valley; they feel a little possessive about Perrault as well.
Many refer to her as “my loan officer,” according to Jennie McPherson, human resources and administrative coordinator.
“Faith is a tireless champion of each and every member, working on their behalf every day to ensure they have all of the tools necessary for financial success,” McPherson says of her co-worker.
“At the end of the day, members and staff alike know they can count on Faith to find the best solution and to give great advice [which some of us here at the credit union like to call ‘Faith-isms’].”
Perrault even takes a “feel good” approach toward collections.
“Most of the time people don’t want to stop paying you. They just run into a situation where they can’t make a payment,” she says. “It’s just a matter of talking to people and helping them work through their issues.”