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Salem Hills High School students learn pitfalls of credit cards

Dec 01, 2016 01:36AM
By Marissa Shields Students from Salem Hills High School received a special lesson about identity theft and credit recently from Bryan Halverson, financial center manager at Zions Bank, in honor of National Get Smart About Credit Day. Halverson taught the lesson to 11th- and 12th-graders in Laurie Hanson’s classroom on Nov. 3 and 4.

The financial outreach program comes at a time when young adults are taking a conservative approach to credit cards. Skittish about borrowing seven years after the Great Recession, only 33 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they have one, according to a 2016 Bankrate Money Pulse survey.

“We’re teaching students that having a credit card can help young adults build their credit histories, they just have to be prudent about spending within their means,” Halverson said. “It’s good for us to reach high school students before they graduate to remind them that their credit reports reflect their choices and impact their borrowing options down the road.”

Zions Bank employees like Halverson are teaching nearly 1,500 students in Utah and Idaho about using credit wisely and budgeting in honor of National Get Smart About Credit Day, an American Bankers Association program.

To further help students learn skills in finance, Zions Bank offers a free online game, Celebrity Calamity, at www.zionsbank.financialentertainment.org. Players are tasked with managing money for a spendthrift celebrity they have to help get out of debt. Students in Idaho and Utah ages 14 through 19 can play the game and be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a $250 savings account.