Meet Kadence. She is a high school student and active resident of Mt. Pleasant, where her grandparents have been Lake Trust members for many years. Her story starts on the road to Alma, en route to her part-time job at an animal shelter.
It’s 5AM. The road from Mt. Pleasant to Alma is remote, lined with forests and fields that won’t experience sunlight for another two hours. Only one car traverses the inky landscape. It’s 18-year-old Kadence, making a familiar drive for the early shift at a local animal shelter. Suddenly, three deer jump out onto the road. Kadence swerves to avoid the first two, but unfortunately hits the third. She stops on the road shoulder and frantically calls her grandmother for help. After a few calming words, reality begins to set in for Kadence. She is safe and unharmed — but her first car is totalled. And for a busy high school student with jobs that require transportation around rural Michigan, that poses a real challenge.
“The main thing that draws me to Lake Trust is definitely the family energy.”
Family is at the center of Kadence’s life, and at the center of her story. Her grandparents are always a phone call away, ready to offer guidance, support, and financial advice. They are also long-time Lake Trust members and frequently visit the Mt. Pleasant branch. So when Kadence started to learn about her options for purchasing a new car, a Lake Trust auto loan was the first suggestion from her grandmother.
But Kadence was skeptical at first. An auto loan at 18 years old? An auto loan for someone who doesn’t have a credit history? It seemed like a plan destined for disappointment. That skepticism persisted until Kadence accompanied her grandmother to the Mt. Pleasant branch, where she started to feel comfortable with a new type of family. Her Lake Trust family.
This family energy at Lake Trust is what Kadence needed to feel hope. To this day, she even considers her primary Lake Trust representative “like another mom to me.”
“It was definitely a big sense of empowerment and pride knowing that I could do it all on my own.”
After sitting down with a Lake Trust representative in Mt. Pleasant, Kadence started to feel more comfortable with the possibility of a car loan — and securing it on her own terms. In fact, when offered the opportunity to get the loan without a cosigner, Kadence enthusiastically agreed.
Choosing her own path forward was a big deal for Kadence. She values her independence, especially as someone with more responsibilities than the average teenager. A Lake Trust auto loan gave her the freedom to find a car that fits her lifestyle and transportation needs.
“My new car is the perfect fit,” she says. “It’s an SUV, and it has heated seats with an all-black leather interior, which looks fabulous.”
Only a few days after purchasing her new car, Kadence prioritized a special trip back to the Lake Trust branch in Mt. Pleasant. Pulling into the parking lot felt like a family homecoming, and upon entering the branch, she was immediately met with congratulatory team members ready to check out that fabulous all-black leather interior.
“Lake Trust has empowered me to be smart with my money.”
Kadence might be one of the younger personal banking members at Lake Trust, and her journey to financial wellbeing is just beginning. But she isn’t embarking on that journey alone.
She says, “The people at Lake Trust definitely make me feel at ease and very comfortable. I could come to them with anything.” Even though her lifestyle and ambitions are often driven by independence, Kadence knows that her family and support system will always empower her ambitions.
That’s the power of embracing support.
Nicole is the founder of More Love Collective, a small business based in Grand Haven that sells beaded bracelets for a greater purpose.
Michael is a member and residential therapist in Ann Arbor who empowers adults to achieve their goals for a promising future.