“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 Jenny Picard, a Personal Banker for First Community Bank’s Man office. “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 to use credit wisely, from the beginning.”
The presentations will focus on six core activities – the “how-to’s” of credit - including obtaining and managing credit, reading a credit report effectively, understanding the importance of a good credit record, budgeting now to help avoid credit problems later, and keeping personal financial information secure.
First Community Bank would like to offer the following tips to teens to help them get their finances off on the right foot.
• Establish a budget and stick to it in order to keep your finances in order.
• Educate yourself on how credit works before you obtain a credit card.
• Choose the credit card that fits your needs by comparing interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees and terms.
• A credit application is a contract so make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign it.
• Don’t spend more than you can afford to pay back. A credit card is a loan, not free money.
• Don’t pay your bills late because late payments can 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 need to reevaluate your current spending habits and adjust them.
• Call your local bank if you have any questions. Your local bank is there to help you and can make recommendations about managing your money.