Bank employees across the country will celebrate the American Bankers Association Foundation’s Get Smart About Credit campaign today and throughout the year by sharing information with teens and young adults on a range of personal finance topics.
Get Smart About Credit Day, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October, is one of three ABA Foundation youth financial education campaigns each year. The national program allows bank employees to share real-world financial knowledge with students and young adults on obstacles facing this demographic, including saving for the unexpected, managing money, paying for college, knowing their credit score, protecting their identity and exploring careers in banking.
This year, nearly 10,000 banker volunteers have committed to providing these and other financial education materials to more than 200,000 students and young adults in their communities.
“We are grateful to our nation’s banks for making financial education a priority within their communities for the last 20 years,” said Lindsay Torrico, executive director, ABA Foundation. “Thanks to their efforts, we are on our way to fulfilling our three-year commitment to reach five million Americans with these critically important lessons.”
New to the Get Smart About Credit programming this year is a lesson titled “Paychecks to Prosperity,” which is designed specifically for people entering the workforce and obtaining their first position with benefits. The lesson is a high-level gamified conversation helping participants establish their own financial plan that comprises realistic spending, saving, and investing opportunities. This lesson will be part of a new suite of materials aimed at helping consumers tackle ‘financial firsts’ as the Get Smart About Credit program expands its support for those up to 30 years old.
Additionally, in anticipation of Get Smart About Credit Day, the ABA Foundation led a two-part banker webinar series throughout September and October titled “Turning the Tide on Financial Literacy,” which examined the state of financial literacy in the country and ways to advance solutions throughout communities nationwide.
The ABA Foundation provides campaign resources including the lesson plans, in English and Spanish, program materials and real-time customer support entirely free to member and non-member banks to encourage industry participation.
For educators and community-focused organizations interested in scheduling banker-led financial education presentation, the ABA Foundation offers FinEdLink – a free online tool that matches schools and other groups with a local banker volunteer in their area.
Ally, Citi, TransUnion and Zions are sponsoring this year’s Get Smart About Credit campaign. Their generous support allows the Foundation to provide the entire suite of resources for free to banks of all sizes.
Registered banks are featured on a list of participating banks on the ABA Foundation’s website and in press materials. Any media outlet interested in covering a bank presentation in their community, should contact Blair Bernstein.