Columbia, TN – In its effort to teach the local community how to effectively use credit, Community
First Bank & Trust is teaming up with the American Bankers Association’s Get Smart About Credit
The program, now in its 11th year, is a national campaign of volunteer bankers who help young
people develop responsible credit habits. Community First Bank’s volunteer bankers will utilize the
program’s awareness day – Get Smart About Credit Day – held Thursday, October 17th as an
opportunity to visit area schools. Community First’s program focused on the following important
financial obstacles facing teens; paying for college, building good credit habits, and protecting
“Soaring college loan debt and the increase in online and mobile payment use highlight the critical
need for credit education,” said Louis Holloway, President and CEO. “This program is an opportunity
for our bank to plug into a national effort to equip students with ways to ensure a financially fit
As a participant in the Get Smart About Credit Day, Community First Bank offers the following Dos
and Don’ts of Credit:
- DO 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.
- DO 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.
- DO pay at least the minimum due and contact your creditor if you have trouble making
payments. This will help you to avoid late fees and a rising APR. To pay off your balance
quicker, pay more than the minimum due. If
you are unable to make the minimum monthly payments, let your creditor know so they can work with
you to create a more manageable payment plan.
- DON'T feel pressure to get a credit card. If you don't want one, you have the right to say
"no." Under the CARD Act of 2009 consumers aged 18-21 cannot be solicited for credit. If you no
longer wish to receive prescreened offers, opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or
- DON'T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum balance, pay
late, use cash-advances to fund daily living expenses or transfer a lot of balances you might be in
the "credit" danger zone. Talk to a financial counseling organization to regain control of your
- DON'T share your credit card number. Never give out credit card or personal information if
you have not initiated the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams that ask for
credit card numbers. If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, file a complaint with
the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502, or
Community First Bank & Trust, based in Columbia, TN, was founded in 1999 by a group of Maury County
business leaders who wanted to provide a superior banking experience to the communities they serve.
CFB&T is a commercial bank operating eight offices in Maury, Hickman and Williamson Counties. The
bank provides a comprehensive line of banking services to consumers and businesses in the Middle
Tennessee area. Additional information is available at www.cfbk.com.
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