ANSELMO MORENO • BE INNOVATIVE
Born and raised in Bakersfield, discover why this native never felt the urge to leave and why he’s always been proud of his warm and giving hometown.
Anselmo Moreno • Credit Consultant and Founder of Innovative Credit Solutions
Being born and raised in Bakersfield, the central theme among my peers throughout high school and college years was, “We can’t wait to get out of here.” Honestly, I never once understood that. I’ve never had the urge to leave here. All of my family is here and I have very strong family ties, so the idea of being away from them was never attractive to me.
I started my career in the debt collection industry, with a local agency here in Bakersfield. It’s a job that has a lot of negative stigma attached to it, due to the nature of the business. No one likes debt collectors, right? But it taught me so much and I learned a lot.
I realized quickly that I was counseling people through the process when I called them and talked to them, instead of being aggressive and demanding payment. I was developing and learning how to help people fix their credit, which led me to create my own local business, Innovative Credit Solutions in 2006. It helps that I’m bilingual, because fifty percent of Kern County is Hispanic. I think the language barrier contributes to people having poor credit, simply because they don’t understand. So being able to counsel people in Spanish became a huge asset.
In 2013 we moved our offices from our southwest location to downtown Bakersfield and it’s made all the difference. Now we’re accessible to all of our clients, and we love that. We think face-to-face connection is really important, especially in our industry.
What’s really cool is that people are coming to us wanting to improve their credit so they can be a part of this town. They want to purchase homes, raise their families here, work here and develop roots here. It’s a great time to do this because the Bakersfield job and housing market are very healthy, meaning that there is a lot of opportunity for young professionals and families to relocate, purchase a home, start a new career or open up a new business.
With that being said, the thing I see a lot now that I’m older is that those friends of mine who couldn’t wait to leave, have all come back. There’s this huge resurgence of people coming home, realizing what they left and how much this town has to offer.
This city is absolutely primed for growth, and it’s evident by all the clients we see wanting to buy homes and develop new businesses. When the recession hit a decade ago, Bakersfield bounced back fast and has been flourishing ever since.
And the investment to drive the town forward and really improve certain areas that need attention is another testament to how progressive we’ve become. Take the East Hills Mall, for example. It’s been declining for many years but recently was purchased and there are big plans to renovate it and make it a hub for commerce and community.
I’ve seen a lot of innovation happening in Bakersfield lately and it makes everyone excited. It’s contagious. And I think we’re attracting those innovative, creative types because we’re a very caring and generous community. We rally around those who need help and we break records, year after year, for our charitable giving. I think that positive attitude has drawn a lot of natives back home and encouraged all of this progressive development.
I always recommend that people go see the Panorama Bluffs, as it’s one of my favorite things to do in Bakersfield. They’re a hidden gem that is absolutely breathtaking. No one talks about how awesome and exciting this city is, but I say go to Panorama Bluffs at sunset and try to tell me this place isn’t awesome after that.