One of the newest additions to the Credit.com staff has been working hard to bring our readers a brand new way to interact and engage with our experts, the Credit.com Forum. We had Barry Paperno, the man behing the forums, sit down and answer some important questions for our readers to help you understand who he is, what the forums are and how you can use them to learn more about credit or to offer your own advice to other readers.
How did you learn so much about credit?
I’m a native Californian, a graduate of California State University, East Bay, a husband and father of two daughters. I have been involved in one form of the credit business or other for about the past 35 years. The first 15 or so were spent in bank and retail credit card operations – at Bank of America and the Mervyn’s Department Store chain – mostly within the customer service realm. Those experiences led to a three-year stint with Experian (called TRW then) in the early ’90s, running the Bay Area consumer assistance office; followed by 16 years at FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.), where I helped lenders and consumers make sense of FICO credit scoring. I’ve been with Credit.com as Community Manager since May of this year.
The way I see it, my job is to provide an environment where people can feel comfortable anonymously sharing some of their most personal financial experiences and concerns, and feel confident that the information they receive is accurate and relevant to their daily lives. For me, this includes wearing my “credit expert” hat to answer questions or give advice, being the “traffic cop” when people and/or their posts need some assistance, and at times taking on the general role of “ring leader” when some strategic planning is in order.
What is the new Credit.com Forum?
The Credit.com Forum is a platform where people can come to ask and answer questions, share ideas and engage with others on any money-related topic for the purpose of making the kind of smarter financial decisions that lead to the better things in life. While the bad news about credit is that much of it is confusing, inconsistent and sometimes just doesn’t seem to make common sense, the good news is that there’s a wealth of information out there and people willing to share what they know – and all for free!
What excited you most about the community forum?
What excites me the most about the Credit.com community is the peer-to-peer interaction, exemplified by our team of volunteer moderators and super users. These are people who have come together from various walks of life and backgrounds, and who have managed to become experts and role models, both in their knowledge of credit and personal finance topics and expertise moderating online communities. Having the inmates run the asylum, as I like to describe it, helps set the stage for the kind of supportive educational setting that’s both fun and empowering, and the kind of place you end up spending more time than you probably should.
[The Credit.com Forum: Your Credit Questions Answered]
What’s the purpose of the forum?
- Learn: Read the message posts, Credit.com blog articles (with new articles appearing daily), and Credit.com educational content on your way to becoming the well-informed consumer who now makes better financial decisions for the benefit of yourself and your family.
- Share: People love to share, whether it’s donating to a charity or volunteering at the local church or school. Sharing knowledge about money matters, or even just relating a memorable experience, can be inspirational to others and has been known to change lives.
- Engage: If the explosion of social media tools has taught us anything, it’s that people still have the need to connect with each other. In the Forum, it’s all about money and how we spend it, how we save it, how we get more of it, how we pay it back when we borrowed it, and how we maintain a good reputation through all of it.
How can readers sign up?
Go to Forum.Credit.com and sign up by giving us your name and email address, creating a password and screen name. Then get comfortable as you’re likely to get hooked reading through our lively and informative credit discussions. In no time you’ll be replying to posts and starting new discussions of your own, while well on your way to becoming our next credit expert!