FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Cathy Planchart, AVP
Corporate Communications & Community Relations
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
P.O. Box 1089, Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-667-0660 x4655 / email@example.com
DATE: October 11, 2013
TITLE: NATIONAL GET SMART ABOUT CREDIT DAY – OCTOBER 17
Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is participating in the 11th Annual National Get Smart About Credit Day, a financial literacy program sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation (ABAEF), being held on October 17, 2013. On this day bankers from across the country will make presentations to local high school students and community groups focusing on three important financial obstacles facing teens today: paying for college, building good credit habits, and protecting their identity.
“Each year we participate 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,” said Margie Gray of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “The best defense is a good offense!”
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers the following Dos and Don’ts of Credit:
• DO read the fine print on the credit application. The application is a contract, so read it carefully before signing.
• DO be wary of anyone who claims they can “fix” your credit report. No one can legally remove negative accurate information from your credit history. The only thing that can fix a credit report is time and a positive payment history.
• DO pay at least the minimum due and contact your creditor if you have trouble making payments. This will help you to avoid late fees and a rising APR. To pay off your balance quicker, pay more than the minimum due. If you are unable to make the minimum monthly payments, let your creditor know so they can work with you to create a more manageable payment plan.
• DON’T feel pressure to get a credit card. If you don’t want one, you have the right to say “no.” Under the CARD Act of 2009 consumers aged 18-21 cannot be solicited for credit. If you no longer wish to receive prescreened offers, opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
• DON’T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, use cash-advances to fund daily living expenses or transfer a lot of balances you might be in the “credit” danger zone. Talk to a financial counseling organization to regain control of your finances.
• DON’T share your credit card number. Never give out credit card or personal information if you have not initiated the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams that ask for credit card numbers.
Through the Get Smart About Credit program, bankers teach young adults how to make and keep good credit. If you are interested in having a banker from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust talk with your class or group about the use of credit and related financial topics, please call Margie Gray, at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (667-0660 x4557). October 17th is National Get Smart About Credit Day, but these lessons are available any time of year.
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is a community bank with more than $1.3 billion in assets. Founded in 1887, the Bank offers a full range of financial services for families, businesses, and non-profit organizations throughout Maine with 15 branch locations, from Topsham to Lubec. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, is a subsidiary of Bar Harbor Bankshares (AMEX:BHB) and was named one of the 2013 Best Places to Work in Maine. For more information call 1-888-853-7100 or go to www.bhbt.com.