l e a d i n g
a d v o c a t e
f o r
t h e
b a n k i n g
i n d u s t r y
k a n s a s
HEN THE GALLUP ORGANIZATION
released its annual Economy and Personal
Finance Poll earlier this year, the results
confirmed a growing year-to-year concern
for young adults: how to pay for college
tuition or pay off college loans.
More than one in five adults aged 18 to 29 identified these
college costs as the biggest financial challenge their families
were dealing with. Among the other issues young adults cited
were: lack of money/low wages (15 percent); housing costs (14
percent); and bills/credit cards/debt (10 percent).
The good news is that these are personal financial management
issues that are in the wheelhouse of ABA’s Get Smart About
Credit program. Now in its 12th year, Get Smart About Credit
brings volunteer bankers like you together with young people
to help them develop responsible credit habits.
Our industry’s financial education efforts are much needed.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development, more than 40 percent of U.S. students –
more than in any other country – reported receiving financial
education in their classrooms from private-sector individuals,
such as bankers or other volunteers.
On Get Smart About Credit Day – Oct. 16 – and throughout
the fall, bankers will be doing just that. They’ll be delivering
lessons to teens and young adults on managing three financial
challenges: paying for college; building good credit habits; and
protecting their identity.
These life lessons are designed to give young adults an edge in
mastering personal finance and taking control of their financial
futures. For example, we’re encouraging them to:
• Take control and responsibility over their finances by
creating budgets and sticking to them, including planning
for unexpected expenses such as car repairs.
• Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit.
• Utilize their bank and valuable services, such as check-
cashing, debit cards, online banking, balance alerts,
personal loans and direct deposit, as well as asking for help
and advice from parents or their banker.
Paying for college and managing college loan debt are
significant concerns. So, too, are meeting housing costs and
managing personal debt, and these are all linked. Bankers can
fill a need – and groom a new generation of bank customers
– by providing wise counsel on these personal financial
If your bank hasn’t participated in any young adult financial
education program before, please consider doing so this
year. The need seems to grow every year. So, too, must our
E-mail Frank Keating firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2014 American Bankers Association. All rights reserved. Reprinted with
A GROWING NEED
By Frank Keating, President and CEO
American Bankers Association