Worrying about money is a universal human experience.
But Tai Kraft’s goal is to build members’ confidence and financial skill sets.
“I’m motivated by our members’ success,” she says. “It’s more than helping people work through situations to successful financial outcomes.
"And it’s more than having members tell me how they’re significantly less stressed over their finances," she continues. "It’s hearing the pride in their voices when they tell me what they’ve achieved as a result of learning to successfully manage their money and credit.”
Kraft, who loves her job as a credit counselor, began in 2013 at $816 million asset Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minn.
“I’m one of the luckiest people I know. I love my job,” she says. “Some members are in crisis and need to find a fast solution to a problem. Some are struggling to find the best path forward as they work to reach a financial goal such as buying a home.
“Some are working to recover from an unexpected event that bruised their credit history,” Kraft continues. “Most of the members I get to work with are simply wondering, ‘Is there a better way to manage my finances?’”
Several members tell Kraft variations of the same line: “I have never been good with money.”
“They’re so certain about this characteristic of theirs, they state it as a fact that’s practically set in stone,” she says. “What I find pleasantly surprising is our members’ ability to prove themselves wrong.”
People who make a lot of money and people who make little money stress over their finances, Kraft says. Worrying about money is common to everyone.
“I love that I get to work with people and discover the path that will lead them to feeling confident and proud of their choices,” she says. “I consider my success to be dependent on our members’ success. If our members aren’t succeeding, neither am I.”