Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

One Event We Cannot Afford to Sit Out

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

One Event We Cannot Afford to Sit Out

Article excerpt

Get Smart About Credit Day--Oct. 18, 2012--is every banker's opportunity to raise public awareness about the importance of using credit wisely--and positioning bankers as something other than what we're often portrayed to be in the media. This is our chance to be seen as what we really are: community leaders who are trusted partners in helping young people establish a sound footing for their financial future.

If you really need some reasons to participate--to get out into the schools and teach the next generation of credit customers--I have plenty to offer.

* Some 4 million families lost their homes to foreclosure between the beginning of 2007 and early 2012. A sound financial education could have kept some of those home buyers from getting in over their heads.

* Student loan debt has soared to $1 trillion, and defaults are on the rise.

* Nearly half of young-adult households, ages 15 to 34, are under-banked, and more likely than others to use expensive bank-like services, including payday loans and check-cashing services. They need to meet a banker like you and form their own view of what banks can do for them.

Today's young people are just not adequately prepared for financial responsibilities. Half of today's teens are not sure they know how to manage a credit card, and nearly that many don't know how to budget. Only three out of ten teens know what a credit score is.

ABA-member bankers must be engaged and involved in turning this around. …

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