Virginia Banks Join ABA Foundation, Banks Across U.S. for Annual Financial Education Campaign – “Get Smart About Credit”

Article Monica McDearmon Virginia Bankers Association

Virginia banks are joining the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation and banks across the country to promote the Get Smart About Credit program, a national campaign that encourages banks to teach teens and young adults how to manage their money.

In recognition of the program’s awareness day, celebrated the third Thursday in October, Virginia banks will share tips and information on topics such as using credit wisely, protecting your identity, paying for college, saving for the unexpected, and pursuing careers in banking. The information will be shared through classroom presentations, social media channels, and in-branch activities.

“Get Smart About Credit gives us an opportunity to equip young Virginians with the financial knowledge they need to prepare for the unexpected and ultimately be successful,” said Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst. “Virginia banks look forward to sharing a range of helpful resources and participating in this important campaign.”

Virginia banks offer these seven tips to help students shape their financial future: 

  1. You are in charge.  It’s your job to manage your money. Set yourself up for success by creating a realistic budget and sticking to it.
  2. Watch your spending. It all comes back to the simple lesson of needs vs. wants. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping.
  3. Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs. Pay as much as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date.
  4. Utilize your bank services. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from like check cashing, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and identity theft protection.
  5. Be cautious when it comes to money. Don’t just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends or salespeople who have ideas for your money.
  6. Save, save, save! Things happen, and it’s important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down or another unexpected emergency occurs. No matter how small the amount, you should start putting some money away immediately.
  7. Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your banker are a good place to start and remember – the sooner the better.

Banks across Virginia are regularly communicating with their customers about smart money management. The following Virginia banks have registered to make presentations to nearly 2,000 students through this year’s Get Smart About Credit program:

  • Bank of Clarke
  • Benchmark Community Bank
  • Blue Ridge Bank
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • C&F Bank
  • Capital One
  • Chain Bridge Bank
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co.
  • First Community Bank
  • Fulton Bank
  • John Marshall Bank
  • National Bank
  • Powell Valley National Bank
  • Primis Bank
  • Skyline National Bank
  • The Bank of Marion
  • The Farmers Bank of Appomattox
  • TowneBank
  • United Bank
  • WesBanco Bank, Inc.

You can learn more about the VBA’s financial literacy efforts here.

About Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation

The Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) formed the VBA Education Foundation in 2007 with funding from the majority of VBA member banks for the Walter Ayers Fund for Financial Education. The Foundation’s mission is to improve personal financial literacy and economic education in all public and private schools in the Commonwealth. The Foundation recognizes the importance of economic education and financial literacy in Virginia and supports the banking industry as a key participant in these areas. For more information, visit