She fell in love with the mortgage industry in high school + has been helping people ever since

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Melissa Belcher, Truist
Melissa Belcher of Truist. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

When you talk to Melissa Belcher, it’s clear she found her passion in high school and has never wavered from it. For over 30 years now, she’s been working in the mortgage industry, helping people with the biggest financial decision of their life. Find out why she loves working at Truist, whose mission aligns with her own.

The only high schooler who knew what an escrow account was: meet Melissa Belcher

Melissa Belcher, woman working at a Birmingham mortgage company
Melissa Belcher back in her Engel Mortgage Company days. (Melissa Belcher)

When Melissa Belcher was a student at Ensley High School, she had her whole life planned out. She was going to go to UAB, graduate and become a nurse. 

But then, her junior year in high school, she was part of a school program that required getting a job. Not into the fast food jobs her friends were getting, she worked part time as a proof operator at a bank that year. 

Her senior year, a teacher came to her and said “I know you’re not in the program any more, but a company called Engel Mortgage needs some high school students.”

The part-time job that changed everything

Melissa said “okay, I’ll do it.” Engel Mortgage company floated her around different departments, from customer service to escrow. 

“I really did start the mortgage industry in high school. I suppose I was the first in my whole entire high school that knew what an escrow account was.”

Melissa Belcher

She fell in love with the industry and the people in it. She also discovered a passion for helping people.

“I really felt like my job was a calling—that feeling stayed with me from that point on,” Belcher said. 

A word about Truist

Sharron Swain and Melissa Belcher talking at Railroad Park
When we were doing the interview for this story, we discovered that Melissa got her start at Engel Mortgage Company, the company my Dad and grandfather started with Mr. Engel after WWII—she had a lot of great stories to tell me. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

For the past 12 years, she’s been working at Truist, whose purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities.

She’s recently been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Retail Producing Sales Manager. In this role, she originates loans and trains newly-hired loan officers. 

Here’s what she says is the secret to her success with potential homeowners:

“I just listen to their dreams and goals. A lot of times, they’re not ready to buy a home, but I try to coach them and teach them things I’ve learned. If they want it badly enough and take certain steps, it’ll happen.”

Want to work with a community that gives back? Truist is hiring.

Why helping people finance their homes matters 

Melissa Belcher with her grandchildren
Melissa Belcher and her five grandchildren. (Melissa Belcher)

Melissa grew up in Birmingham’s Central Park neighborhood. She said when her parents bought their first house, it changed her world. 

Previously, they were renters in an okay neighborhood, but it wasn’t a community. When they moved to Central Park, they moved to an area that had sidewalks where she could ride her bicycle. They had a library and a community center. 

“Now I get to be part of a family who may change their child’s life, buy their first house or downsize. It just thrills me that I work for a company that allows me to do that every day.”

Melissa Belcher

Giving back with Seeds of Hope

In addition to helping potential buyers and recently-hired loan officers, Melissa loves having the opportunity to give back to the community in other company-sponsored ways. 

In fact, she told me a story about how Kelly King, the company’s previous CEO, mailed gift cards during the pandemic so they could spread Seeds of Hope.

“At a time when people didn’t feel like there was a lot of hope, they sent out gift cards to us to give to anybody we wanted to give them to. I prayed about it, and gave my seeds of hope to the library I grew up going to, because I spent hours and hours there. I know it wasn’t a lot of money, but I felt like I planted a seed of hope.”

Melissa Belcher

Making a difference in the community

organizing a free school supply drive
She coordinated free school supplies for North Jefferson County, organized by her church, First Baptist Church of Mt. Olive. (Melissa Belcher)

For the past 10 years, Belcher’s also been involved with a huge back-to-school drive in North Jefferson County where she lives. She’s been the coordinator because “I can’t stand to think of a child going to school and not having pencils, papers, markers or whatever they need.”

Melissa Belcher camping with her grandsons
Melissa at Honeycomb Campground in Guntersville with her grandsons. (Melissa Belcher)

When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading, spending time in the outdoors camping, hiking, biking or sitting around the campfire with her friends or grandchildren. 

Looking for a place to grow a career + a life you love? Truist is hiring.

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Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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