Getting Ready for the Real World: Financial Best Practices Every Young Adult Should Know

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ICBA and the nation’s community banks provide tips and advice for young adults on practical financial advice they should know

Washington, D.C. (August 29, 2014)—Since the majority of college students have headed back to campus for the fall semester, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and the nation’s more than 6,500 community banks encourage young adults to prepare financially by following practical financial advice.

“Young adults are busy establishing themselves in the real world with their first jobs or at college, but it’s important that they also work toward preparing themselves by learning how to incorporate practical financial advice into their daily routines,” said John Buhrmaster, president and CEO of 1st National Bank in Scotia, N.Y. “Credit plays a huge role in helping adults achieve personal and professional goals, so it’s important that young adults establish credit and use it wisely.”

ICBA and the nation’s community bankers suggest the following financial tips and advice for young adults:

  • Set up and follow a budget that includes paying off a credit card balance. “Maxing out" or charging up to your card's credit limit can make sticking to your budget more difficult and negatively affects your credit score.   
  • Pay your bills on time - every time. Whenever your budget permits, pay more than the minimum payment to pay off the balance faster and save on finance charges.
  • Keep all of your financial account information confidential. Do not share your PIN, debit or credit cards and access to your bank accounts. Never give out your credit card number, card verification number, which is usually printed near the signature panel, or expiration date over the phone or the internet, unless you initiated the contact and know who you're dealing with.
  • Routinely access your account information online to track your spending and to quickly identify fraudulent transactions. If you see a transaction that is not yours or an error on your account, notify your card issuer immediately.
  • When making online transactions, whether it is purchasing products or paying bills online, be sure the site is secure. Don’t let others watch you enter your card number, PIN or bank account information.

“It is fundamental that adults establish and maintain good credit. Community bankers are excellent resources, and so is Visa’s Practical Money Skills. Practical Money Skills is geared toward various age groups as a free resource to provide credit, savings and other financial advice,” said Linda Echard, president and CEO of ICBA Bancard. “In addition to paying more than the minimum on every credit card balance you may have, try to pay the most on the account balance with the highest interest rate.

Community banks nationwide are on hand to help young adults learn more about credit cards and how to properly manage their credit, create savings accounts and learn more on how to become more financially literate.

During the month of August, ICBA is spotlighting community banks that are active and engaged in local youth financial literacy efforts on the association’s Go Local blog and social media channels. ICBA has also released several consumer-related press releases this month to provide financial literacy tools for parents and elementary to college-aged students.

To learn more about ICBA, visit To find a community bank in your area, visit ICBA's community bank locator.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.

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