Business

Thursday AM October 21st, 2010

An annual educational awareness day about credit takes place on the third Thursday of October, sponsored by the American Bankers Association. Ed Mayberry reports.

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credit card walletsThe program’s goal is to raise awareness about wise credit use. Laura Fisher with the American Bankers Association says Houston-area bankers are volunteering to give classroom lessons.

“We have three banks that are presenting lessons—Amegy Bank, Bank of America and International Bank of Commerce. We also have a bank in Texas, BBVA Compass—it’s a national partner of ours. Basically, the banker will show up at the classroom, get a short introduction from the teacher and then kind of take off with the lesson plan, but then also a lot of Q & A. It’s not everyday you have an expert in the classroom and bankers really do have a unique knowledge base because they can bring a lot of information to those students.” 

Fisher says volunteers from participating area banks hope to help students develop responsible credit habits.

“As much as the bankers can talk about, either their own personal experience with money and we’ve all had a lot of experiences within the past couple of years and throughout our lifetime. Bankers do financial education throughout the year and there are hundreds of organizations that also do financial education. We have a website called GetSmartAboutCredit.com that’s available for people who don’t receive a lesson. And the main purpose for having the day is just to focus the general public and the media and just raise awareness on that day.”  

About a third of students are either unsure or unprepared to manage their own bank accounts and personal finances, according to a Capital One 2009 survey of high school students. And a 2008 Sallie Mae survey found that 84 percent of undergraduates indicated they needed more education about financial management topics.

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