Atlanta, GA, September 20, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- In an effort to encourage better credit literacy throughout Georgia, the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA) is encouraging all Georgia banks to participate in the American Bankers Association’s Get Smart About Credit program.
The program, now in its 11th year, is a national campaign of volunteer bankers who help young people develop responsible credit habits. Many GBA member bankers will use the program’s awareness day – Get Smart About Credit Day on Oct. 17 – to visit schools and other locations in their communities. The program’s focus is financial obstacles facing teens including paying for college, building good credit habits and protecting their identity.
As a strong supporter for the Get Smart About Credit Program, GBA offers the following dos and don’ts about credit:
- Do read the fine print on the credit application. The application is a contract, so read it carefully before signing. Credit card companies are competitive, so interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms and conditions may vary.
- Do be wary of anyone who claims they can "fix" your credit report. No one can legally remove accurate negative information from your credit history. The only thing that can fix a credit report is time and a positive payment history.
- Do pay on time and at least the minimum due. This will help you to avoid late fees and a rising APR. To pay off your balance quicker, pay more than the minimum due. If you’re in a bind and can’t make a payment, let your creditor know as soon as possible they can work with you to create a more manageable payment plan.
- Don't feel pressure to get a credit card. If you don't want one, you have the right to say no. Under the CARD Act of 2009, consumers aged 18-21 cannot be solicited for credit. If you no longer wish to receive prescreened offers, opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
- Don't ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, use cash-advances to fund daily living expenses or transfer a lot of balances you might be in the credit danger zone. Talk to a financial counseling organization to regain control of your finances.
- Don't share your credit card number. Never give out credit card or personal information if you have not initiated the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams that ask for credit card numbers. If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502, or visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft. Notify your creditors immediately, also.
About the Georgia Bankers Association: Founded in 1892, the Georgia Bankers Association promotes the general welfare and usefulness of banking and the preservation of a sound banking system. For 121 years, the GBA has provided Georgia’s banks with top-quality professional development, revenue-enhancing products and services, government relations and public advocacy.