POTSDAM -- NBT Bank has information for people in Potsdam about how credit works as part of "Get Smart About Credit Day."
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 Oct. 17.
NBT Bank offers the following five tips from it’s Strive financial literacy program and partnership with the American Bankers Association Education Foundation:
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.