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 on obstacles facing young adults including saving for the unexpected, managing money, paying for college, knowing their credit score, protecting their identity and exploring careers in banking. Since 1997, the ABA Foundation’s financial education initiatives have reached 11.6 million young people through more than 375,000 banker lessons.
Prior to the pandemic, thousands of bankers marked Get Smart About Credit Day by visiting classrooms across the country to deliver in-person presentations. In order to meet communities where they are and comply with safety protocols associated with in-person lessons, ABA Foundation staff adapted the campaign programming to help bankers reach students in a myriad of ways, including virtual lessons and social media awareness campaigns.
“The value of Get Smart About Credit shouldn’t be limited to presentations one day a year,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director, ABA Foundation. “Understanding personal finance can’t wait. That’s why we’ve made the program more immersive and flexible than ever by expanding our resources to help bankers impart this wisdom through in-person lessons, virtual presentations, social media and other awareness campaigns all year round.”
New to the Get Smart About Credit programming this year are four social-media friendly videos, each approximately 30 seconds long, that explore topics like protecting your identity, paying for college, saving, and careers in banking. Additionally, the ABA Foundation now provides printable materials for bank lobbies, educational content for bank websites and newsletters, and sample social media posts to help boost awareness on these important topics.
This year, 1,820 banker volunteers have committed to provide these and other financial education-related materials to students in their communities.
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 Financial, Citi, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo are sponsoring this year’s Get Smart About Credit campaign. Their generous support allows the Foundation to provide the resources to banks of all sizes across the industry.
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.