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Mark Linville, President of First State Bank taught students at Randolph High School the do’s and don’ts of credit to mark National Get Smart About Credit Day, a financial literacy program sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. There were 25 students from Mrs. Millers Economics class that participated in this event on October 21st.

The presentation was one of many being made by bankers across the country as part of a nationwide effort to help young people take charge of their personal finances.

“The choices young adults make with their first credit card will impact their lives years later when they apply for a car loan or even a mortgage,” said Mr. Linville. “We are participating in the Get Smart About Credit program to raise awareness about the responsible use of credit. And, to show young adults how they can use credit wisely, right from the start.”

Mr. Linville focused on using credit checklists and comparing credit & debit cards. First State Bank has many tips for students and young adults, such as:

  • Educate yourself on how credit works before you obtain a credit card.
  • Choose a credit card that fits your needs. Interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, and terms may vary.
  • Don’t spend more that you can afford. A credit card is a loan, not magic money.
  • Don’t pay your bills late. Late payments hurt your credit rating.
  • Know the signs of credit trouble. If you continuously pay the minimum balance, pay late or use cash-advances to pay daily living expenses, you may be in the danger zone.
  • Establish a budget ad stick to it. This will help you keep your finances in order.
  • A credit application is a contract. Make sure you read it – all of it – before you sign it.
  • Call your bank if you have questions. Your bank is there to help you and can make recommendations about managing your money.

In the near future Mr. Linville plans on visiting the class again and presenting the students with more information on budgeting, credit reports, cost of credit and identity theft.

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