Get Smart About Credit

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The Get Smart About Credit program, now in its 15th year, is a national campaign featuring volunteer bankers who help students to understand credit and other important financial lessons.

Banks across Pennsylvania will utilize Get Smart About Credit Day as an opportunity to visit schools across the commonwealth and present lessons on important financial obstacles facing teens, including paying for college, building good credit habits, managing their money and protecting their identity.

You can Get Smart About Credit, too, by following these credit-savvy tips:

  1. You are in charge.  It is your job to manage your money. Set yourself up for success by creating a realistic budget and sticking to it.
  2. Watch your spending. It all comes back to the simple lesson of “needs vs. wants.” Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last throughout the school year.
  3. Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs. Pay as much as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date.
  4. Utilize your bank services. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from like check cashing, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and some offer identity theft protection.
  5. Be cautious when it comes to money. Do not just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends or salespeople that have ideas for your money.
  6. Save, save, save! Things happen, and it is important that you are financially prepared for any one of life’s unexpected emergencies.
  7. Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your banker are a good place to start and remember the sooner the better.