About The Experts

We know it can be hard to take that first step. But remember—even if you’re not up-to-speed on your credit history, others will be—decision-makers who can seriously impact your ability to move forward in life.

Ian Atkins (@FitSmallBiz) is an analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business. He covers small business finance with a focus on traditional and alternative small business lending. Ian has over 9 years working in personal and small business finance.

Rod Griffin (@Rod_Griffin) is Director of Public Education for Experian. He leads Experian’s national consumer education programs and supports the company’s community involvement and corporate responsibility efforts. Rod oversees the company’s financial literacy grant program, which awarded more than $850,000 in 2015 to non-profit programs that help people achieve financial success.


David Hosterman is a credit and financial expert. He began working as a loan officer with Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC in 2008 and became a Branch Manager in 2015. David has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Forbes, MSN Money, and elsewhere.

Joann Needleman (@jneedleman) serves as a navigator to her clients seeking advice and guidance in the complex regulatory environment facing the financial services industry. A member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board, Joann leads the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory and Compliance Group at Clark Hill. Joann has been able to provide her clients with useful strategies in order to prepare for new areas of regulatory scrutiny, specifically in the alternative lending and “fin-tech” space.

Katie Ross joined the American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) management team in 2002 and is currently responsible for organizing and implementing high-performance development initiatives designed to increase consumer financial awareness. Ms. Ross’s main focus is to conceptualize the creative strategic programming for ACCC’s client base and national base to ensure a maximum level of educational programs that support and cultivate ACCC’s organization. Ms. Ross is certified by the Center for Financial Certifications as a Certified Personal Finance Counselor.

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