National Get Smart About Credit Day on the third Thursday in October annually promotes learning about good credit. It is a national campaign where volunteer bankers help counsel young people on responsible credit habits.

The importance of sound financial management is something that can and should be taught at a young age. Learning healthy credit habits can be one of the most valuable lessons a young person can learn. 

What Affects Credit Scores
  • Amount of debt you carry – Paying off the amount you charge to your credit cards each month helps to improve this amount.  Showing that you are reducing debt each month gradually increases your score over time.
  • Age of credit history – The older your credit history (and the longer it is in good standing) shows a trend toward reliable financial standing.
  • Reports to collections agencies – Any inaccurate reporting to a credit agency needs to be reported immediately. The sooner you resolve an inaccuracy, the quicker your credit report can be corrected.  Obtain a letter from the collection agency once you have been able to confirm the error and submit it to all the credit reporting agencies.
  • Late payments – Any time make a late payment, especially on a credit card or loan, this will be reflected on your credit report. Pay early, pay on time.  If you use your online banking system to make payments, remember to review your bank’s turn-around time for payments. Take their delays into account and schedule accordingly to avoid any late payments.
  • The number of hard inquiries for credit – If you are considering a loan for a car or house, each inquiry will be registered on your credit report.  When your credit is in good standing, it doesn’t have a big impact.
  • The number of accounts – Opening and closing accounts can have an impact on your credit score. Depending on the number of accounts, the impact on your score could be huge.

HOW TO OBSERVE #GetSmartAboutCreditDay

Make sure you are smart about credit. Access tools and resources to help you improve your credit score. Make it a routine to check your credit score and maintain it. Take steps to improve your credit score. Share your experiences and tips using #GetSmartAboutCreditDay to post on social media.


In 2003, the American Bankers Association (ABA) Education Foundation originated this National Day.

Credit FAQ

Q. How can I build credit without a credit card?
A. There are several ways to build credit without having a credit card.

  • Pay existing balances on time. For example, if you have a student loan, car loan, or home loan, paying these existing bills on time will improve your credit standing.
  • Pay rent, utilities, and other service providers on time. Then ask your landlord and service provider to report it to the data to credit agencies.
  • Apply for a credit-builder or personal loan. A credit builder loan requires you to make fixed payments before you can access the money. While the amounts are low, there are fees and interest due to the lender on this type of loan. It’s helpful for those with bad credit to establish a better track record of making regular payments on time.
  • A personal loan is typically a small amount and is often used for things like car or home repair, consistent and on-time payments will help boost your credit rating.

Q. Does missing a payment impact my credit?
A. Unless your lender has a forgiveness policy, one payment can impact your credit. Missing or being late with several payments can severely impact your credit.

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