Wells Fargo Offers Free Credit Advice
October 17, 2013
Throughout October, Wells Fargo employees will volunteer their time to give the public tools to help their credit.
Employees will use Wells Fargo's free, online Hands on Banking, or El Futuro en tus Manos money management program to discuss topics such as lending and trustworthiness, credit and spending limits, credit histories and the cost of credit.
The education outreach is part of the 11th annual American Bankers Association National Get Smart About Credit Day on Oct. 17. This is the eighth year Wells Fargo has participated in the initiative, and the company is continuing to expand its participation to include schools and nonprofit organizations during the entire month of October.
In 2012, more than 1,000 Wells Fargo team member volunteers donated 4,000 hours of time to teach 1,400 credit classes that reached more than 65,000 people, according to a press release.
A recent National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey showed that 62 percent of respondents had not reviewed their report in the past year, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson.
Understanding how to build credit and how to use it responsibly helps consumers make decisions that lead to financial success, said Beverly Anderson, EVP Consumer Credit Solutions at Wells Fargo, in a press release. Making wise financial decisions is easier when youre well informed and we want to give our customers tools to chart a path toward a successful financial future.
Hands on Banking, or El Futuro en tus Manos, which debuted in 2003, saw a 77 percent increase in traffic in 2012 with 280,000 unique visitors from more than 190 countries, according to Wells Fargo. The article titled About Credit Cards was by far the most popular.
Promoting financial education is one of Wells Fargos core values, Angel Zapata, national Hands on Banking manager, said in a statement. Credit-related education is one of the most popular subjects within our free Hands on Banking program, so were very pleased that we can put some special focus on it during our annual participation in Get Smart About Credit and help individuals and families learn more about how to manage their credit wisely.
Establishing healthy financial behaviors is more important than ever. Here are some interesting facts:
42 percent of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck (Source: CareerBuilder, 2011 Survey.)
60 percent of Americans do not have a rainy day fund to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies (Source: FINRA Foundation State-by-State Financial Capability Survey, 2011.)
39 percent of homeowners grade themselves a C, D, or F when it comes to their understanding of personal finances and credit management, and 86 percent of homeowners have not checked their credit score or credit report in the past year (Source: Wells Fargo Homeowner Survey, 2011.)
Steps to Strong Credit
Taking control of your finances can help you manage your money and build a stronger credit history.
Check your credit Report: Once a year, consumers can request a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Transunion at AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Review the reports carefully and correct any errors.
Understand the factors that affect your credit: Your credit score gives lenders a snapshot of your credit risk. By understanding what impacts your score, you may be able to improve it.
Raise your credit score: Managing your credit responsibly over time is one of the best ways to improve your credit score. Five key criteria are generally used to calculate a consumers credit score:
Payment History: information about whether youve made on-time payments has the most impact on your score.
Credit Accounts: A balanced mix of different types of credit can help improve your score.
Credit Usage: Owing a lot or being near your credit limit on multiple accounts negatively impacts your score.
Length of Credit History: Reviewers check to see if you can responsibly manage credit accounts over time.
Credit Applications: Opening multiple new credit accounts may represent a greater risk for lenders.
Create and monitor your budget: A budget gives you more control over your finances and helps you eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Wells Fargo offers a variety of free tools designed to help individuals at any life stage learn ways to manage their finances more responsibly. For more information and resources about how to use credit sensibly to achieve financial goals, click here.