While ABA's previous GSAC campaigns focused on credit basics with a slant toward retail credit, the 2013 ABA Commitment is to build upon its successful Get Smart About Credit (GSAC) program by expanding the subjects upon which banker volunteers focus, to highlight the growing issue of student debt related to financing higher education and what it means to take on to this level debt.
In the Planning Stage, ABA will: seek out organizations and stakeholders that share the student debt and education financing focus and can provide a delivery channel, including, but not limited to, government agencies, nonprofits and for profit enterprises; investigate, collect and review existing materials from a variety of sources to identify those that bankers may use; and create (where needed) teaching and communication resources that will be disseminated to program participants.
During the Implementation Stage, ABA will advertise the campaign to reach and register 425 - 500 banks willing to commit resources to participation in the awareness campaign. Additionally, ABA will provide downloadable material and host webinar training sessions. These training sessions will provide registered bank participants (and others contemplating registration) with: 1) an overview of the campaign; 2) sample materials they can use in their presentations; 3) tips for communicating with teens; and 4) resources for using social media during the campaign. The goal is to reach approximately 100,000 students facing the decision about paying for college.
ABA overseas other financial education programs and encourages its members to engage with teachers and students around the importance of financial education on a continuing basis. For this particular program, ABA will actively promote the campaign from July through October with participating bankers will deploying campaign efforts on or around October 17, 'Get Smart About Credit Day.'
Planning Stage: July to September 2013
-Follow up with organizations identified during CGI America 2013 to determine partnership potential and connect with like-minded organizations with which we've already worked.
-Identify, compile, and create (where needed) teaching and communication resources that will be disseminated to program participants.
-Create training that introduces GSAC's new focus on student lending and introduces resources for bankers' use. Banker training will be delivered via webinar in August and September.
Implementation Stage: August and September 2013
-ABA will kick off GSAC banker registration and target bankers through ads in industry-wide publications, articles placed in statewide banker publications, an integrated email campaign, web banner ads, postings on Facebook and communicating through Twitter.
-ABA will register 425 - 500 banks willing to join in the awareness campaign as well as deliver teaching and communication resources to program participants.
-ABA will launch an 'honor roll' listing in September 2013, reflecting banks that sign up to participate in the program.
Launch Stage: October 2013
-ABA will kick off the initiative with a press and social media campaign around the 'credit facts of life' culminating around Get Smart About Credit Day on October 17, whereby bankers will visit local classrooms to share prepared lessons with students facing decisions about financing higher education.
Results and Measurement Impact Reporting: (2014)
-Over the course of two months following this campaign, ABA will undertake a survey of program participants to assess effectiveness and make a determination about future efforts. ABA will also be measuring the effectiveness of its social media campaign associated with this program.
In recent years, student loan debt in the United States has surpassed the amount of debt outstanding on credit cards. It is now the second largest source of debt, behind mortgages, for Americans in their late-20s to late-30s. This trend is linked to the increasingly high cost of going to college, which makes it essential for students to learn key financial education concepts and skills so they will make sound decisions when faced with how they will pay for higher education.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) serves banks of all asset sizes and charters, and is uniquely positioned to engage bankers in cities, towns and rural communities across the country. ABA has built up and can call upon a network of banker volunteers committed to working with students to increase their practical knowledge of personal finance skills. ABA created the Get Smart About Credit (GSAC) program to help young adults understand credit basics --creditworthiness, the cost of credit cards such as store cards and car loans, how to read a credit report and ways to prevent identity theft. Now in its 11th year, some 24,000 bankers have reached more than 962,848 young people.
ABA aims to support banking professionals to bring core competencies to the GSAC campaign, that effectively raise awareness about the importance of using credit wisely. Bankers can bear witness to the negative consequences of poor money management as well as the long-term impact of a positive payment history. And they often interact with, and are known to, youth in the community as a result of their roles as civic leaders.
The ABA welcomes collaboration on this initiative. Given the specific focus on financing higher education, consumer protection advocates and groups representing educators and young adults are encouraged to get involved at all stages of our campaign. During the Planning Stage ABA staff will speak with other non-profit organizations that deliver content in classrooms and/or use a volunteer delivery method to determine best fit for banker volunteers and the organization's delivery channel.
To make teaching these concepts and skills easier for bankers and fun for students, ABA will offer a prepared script for bankers that includes sections related to student loans. ABA will also compile and recommend existing materials from financial education organizations and various government agencies. ABA will also offer a communications toolkit to campaign participants.