OVB to take part in Get Smart About Credit

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OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush presents Adventures in Credit to area school.

October is not only about Halloween, it also plays host to the American Bankers Association Get Smart About Credit event. Don’t let your finances scare you. Be sure to Get Smart About Credit!

Ohio Valley Bank will once again celebrate the event this month with their financial literacy programs. Now in its 15th year, Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign sponsored by the American Bankers Association to help youth understand credit and other financial lessons. Get Smart About Credit Day will officially be held Thursday, Oct. 19, however, OVB will be celebrating the event throughout the fall season.

Credit lessons will be the focal point of OVB’s financial education programs, both at the elementary and high school level. Adventures in Credit presentations, featuring the Centsables, are planned for area elementary schools. Get Smart About Credit activities will also take center stage in the OVB BANKit program, which is currently being conducted on a monthly basis at six area schools in Ohio and West Virginia.

The main goal of Get Smart About Credit is to prepare students to join the workforce by making sure they have a strong understanding of credit and other money management skills. The program aims to show students that credit education is more than paying for college, credit cards and loans. A true understanding of credit, also encompasses budgeting, credit report comprehension, and identity protection.

What can you do to raise your credit score? Check out these helpful tips:

  1. Pay your credit card bill on time. It sounds like a simple concept, right? However, too often people find themselves paying their bills late. Set up alerts on your phone as a reminder to pay your bill on time. If you are able, pay your bill in full. If not, make sure you can at least make the minimum payment when it’s due.
  2. Watch for warning signs of credit trouble. For example, if you find yourself continually making late payments, are barely able to pay your minimum each month, or are using credit for every day expenses, you’re already in trouble. The best thing to do in this situation is pay what you can and don’t make any more purchases with the credit card in question.
  3. Set and stick with a budget. Adhering to a spending plan is really your first step to financial freedom. By following a budget and saving money you will be less likely to overspend on credit cards, which will also help you save on added fees, such as interest costs.
  4. Think before you buy. Generally people that run into credit issues make the mistake of purchasing items via credit without thinking about what it is they are buying. Do not pay for things using credit without understanding how it could affect your budget first. Make sure that you will have the means to make payments on your purchase before you swipe your credit card.
  5. Take advantage of your annual free credit report. You should have your credit checked once a year to review for any possible errors or inaccuracies. Also, by checking your credit report annually you help protect yourself against the dangers of identity theft. You can check this for free annually by going to annualcreditreport.com. Be careful to type in the address exactly as there are many lookalikes. These lookalike sites can charge you for the report or a subscription fee or collect information from you for marketing purposes. Go to annualcreditreport.com, the official site set up by law from the three national credit reporting agencies.

For more information on Get Smart About Credit or to schedule a presentation for your school/event, contact OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

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