Here’s How Delta Employees Increased Credit Score by 30 Points and Reduced Debt During Pandemic

Delta is continuing its partnership with Operation HOPE to expand financial empowerment opportunities to employees. So far, the partnership has been a success. In 2020, participants in the program noticed an increase in their credit scores and a reduction in debt.

“Operation HOPE is all about financial inclusion and empowerment,” said Delta’s Joanne Smith, E.V.P. and Chief People Officer in a statement. “This new partnership follows a year of economic downturn caused by the global pandemic, as well as historic disparities and injustice. Delta is committed to taking care of and investing in financial health resources for our people.”

Delta’s Plan to Bridge the Wealth Gap

Delta’s partnership with Operation HOPE could help more employees achieve financial health. For Black employees, this opportunity could reverse the trend that’s leading to the median wealth of Black people falling to zero by 2053.

Founded in 1992, Operation HOPE is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization aiming to disrupt poverty and empower inclusion. The organization is moving America from civil rights to “silver rights”, according to the website.

In 2020, Delta received a sample of Operation HOPE’s services. The team worked with a small group of employees. In less than a year, the programming and coaching transformed the financial health of participants. The organization reported that participants saw an average credit score increase of 30 points. Also, participants noticed an average decrease in debt of more than $1,500.

Operation HOPE is also working with Delta on their One Million Black Business and Entrepreneur Initiative (1MBB) program. This program will create new entrepreneurs in the Black community — an opportunity to move one step closer to bridging the wealth gap.

Operation HOPE Founder Shares Secret to Financial Health

Last year, Delta CEO Ed Bastian hosted Operation Hope’s founder, John Hope Bryant, in an employee townhall. During this discussion, Bryant shared the power of Operation Hope’s programming and coaching.

“We are excited to join with Delta Air Lines to offer a new, comprehensive financial coaching model for their employees, as our first national HOPE Inside the Workplace partner,” Bryant said. “This initiative will not only help employees work through financial challenges but help them to achieve their financial dreams

Bryant has been working to educate low and moderate-income youth and adults through his programming for decades. Most of Bryant’s work focuses on economic empowerment and financial dignity. Learning money lessons early on in life was key to success.

“The fact that my mother told me she loved me every day ensured I didn’t have a self-esteem problem,” he shares on his organization’s website. “The fact that my dad was a business owner for 54 years gave me a real example of entrepreneurism—so through them I had a sense of both, yes I am, and yes I can.”

Now, Bryant is an accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author. He’s on a mission to give more people access to the tools and habits that helped him achieve success. Through Operation HOPE’s Hope Inside the Workplace Program, more people will gain access to credit and money management training. The organization will bring numerous workshops and one-on-one coaching to Delta employees.

Bryant believes that “if you don’t understand money, you’re essentially enslaved.”


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