NORWICH, N.Y. (October 17, 2013) – In its effort to teach the local community how to better understand credit, NBT Bank is teaming up with the American Bankers Association Education Foundation’s Get Smart About Credit program. The program, now in its 10th year, is a national campaign of bankers who volunteer to help young people develop responsible credit habits. This year, Get Smart About Credit Day is October 17.NBT Bank offers the following five tips from its Strive® financial literacy program and partnership with the American Bankers Association Education Foundation: 1. Borrow within the means of your wallet and your knowledge. Only borrow what you know you can afford to pay back and make sure you fully understand the products or services you are using and their requirements. 2. Read the fine print on the credit application. The application is a contract, so read it carefully before signing. Credit card companies are very competitive so interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms and conditions may vary. 3. Make your payments on time. Be sure to pay at least the minimum amount due and process all of your payments within the timeframes specified to remain in good credit standing and to avoid penalties and fees. 4. 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. 5. Closing credit cards does not always fix the problem. Closing your credit card can actually hurt your credit. So before deciding to do this, be sure to find out how it affects your credit report.
NBT Bank is encouraging customers to use Get Smart About Credit Day to learn the warning signs of credit trouble. Paying only the minimum balance, making payments late, using cash-advances to fund daily living expenses, or transferring a lot of balances might put customers in the "credit" danger zone. Test your knowledge of credit with the Get Smart About Credit quiz at www.nbtbank.com, and talk to a financial counseling organization to regain control of your finances.NBT Bank also helps young adults year round through Strive®, the Bank’s youth and young adult financial education program. “NBT Bank has developed resources specifically to help parents, educators, and employers take an active role in supporting our area's youth on their journey to building credit and financial independence,” says Martin Dietrich, President and CEO of NBT Bank. “As a part of our Strive program efforts, our branches offer a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum available to local school districts and colleges for classroom-based education.” For more information about credit, loans, setting short- and long-term goals and developing a budget plan, visit www.nbtbank.com or call your local NBT Bank office today. NBT Bank offers personal banking, asset management and business services through a network of over 155 banking locations in five states. NBT Bank operates from 125 locations in upstate New York, northwestern Vermont, western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. NBT’s Pennstar Bank division operates from over 30 locations in northeastern Pennsylvania. NBT Bank and its parent company, NBT Bancorp Inc., are headquartered in Norwich, N.Y. NBT Bancorp Inc. had assets of $7.5 billion as of June 30, 2013, and is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol NBTB. More information about NBT Bank and NBT Bancorp can be found on the internet at www.nbtbank.com and www.nbtbancorp.com.