October is Get Smart About Credit Month
The American Bankers Association Get Smart About Credit Month is a national educational campaign of volunteer bankers who work with young people to raise awareness about using credit wisely. Topics include:
- Paying for College
- Protecting Your Identity
- Knowing Your Credit Score
Get Smart About Credit Month is just one way Wells Fargo and United Way are working together to improve people’s financial stability. Recently, Wells Fargo and United Way launched an innovative financial education program aimed at strengthening individuals, families and communities. Wells Fargo invested $5 million in a five-year plan to teach members of low- and moderate-income U.S. families about:
- achieving financial goals such as home-buying, college, building a business and saving for retirement
- access to safe and effective financial products
- methods for making better financial decisions
The need for financial education in the U.S. is great. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling:
- More than 1/3 of lower-income working families spend at least 40% of their income on housing.
- 1/3 (77 million Americans) don’t pay all their bills on time.
- 39% of Americans carry credit card debt from month to month.
- 2 of every 5 U.S. adults give themselves a C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance.
- 2 of every 5 adults say they are saving less than they were a year ago.
- 39% of adults don’t have non-retirement savings
United Way is proud to be a part of this national effort to help 1.9 million families achieve financial stability. Because when individuals, families and communities prosper, everyone wins.
What’s Happening on a Local Level
To support Get Smart About Credit Month, more than a thousand Wells Fargo team members are expected to volunteer in classrooms and nonprofits throughout the U.S. A few local examples include:
In conjunction with United Way Forsyth County in Winston Salem, NC, Wells Fargo volunteers offered assistance to attendees at a Community and Veteran’s Job Fair. The Wells Fargo Financial Stability Coalition is also working with three area universities to host workshops on debt management and saving/investing income.
Valley of the Sun United Way in Phoenix is working with Wells Fargo to participate in local schools’ Professional Development Day, as well as Community Fair Day—an event for students’ families.
United Way Miami-Dade has partnered with Carrfour Supportive Housing to educate consumers on topics such as budgeting, wills and the pros and cons of bank accounts. Plans for additional training sessions—to be held at eight campuses of Miami Dade College—are in the planning stages, with topics to include credit and student debt.