At the beginning of 2009, Hoganson had accumulated more than 30 overdraft fees on her checking account and amassed other debts. With help from her GECU financial coach, she made a successful financial turnaround from her growing debt and frivolous spending habits to win the grand prize. By competitions end, she had not only turned around her financial situation but was also able to pay for her education with scholarships.
The competition included six college student contestants who collectively saved nearly $21,000 and reduced their debt by nearly $25,000. The runners-up received $2,500 each and scholarships in the amount of $7,000.
Harriet May, president/CEO of the 1.5 billion credit union stated, "We are so proud of each one of these contestants. They have worked very hard throughout the year to improve their financial habits to include financing their college education, avoid unnecessary debt, and develop an effective savings plan. We are so glad that they will all take away life-lasting lessons from this experience."