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Bankers teach students all about credit

By Sarah Dallof | Posted - Oct. 21, 2010 at 6:35 p.m.



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Credit Score breakdown of U.S. population

Over 80013%
751 - 79927%
700 - 74918%
650 - 69915%
600 - 64912%
550 - 5998%
500 - 5495%
Up to 4992%
Fair Isaac

SALT LAKE CITY -- Good credit is more important than ever right now. So bankers across the country sat down with students as part of "Get Smart about Credit Day."

You'd expect to see Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson in a boardroom, but Thursday he was in a classroom at Highland High School, instead. He and Zions bankers across the state educated students about good credit, bad credit, and what in means for their future.

"While they're in school, they get a report card that shows how well they've done in their subjects. A credit report does the same thing on how well they're doing paying back their credit," Anderson said.

They focused on something most high school students dream of - fancy cars. The bankers acted as loan officers, giving the students mock credit scores and a selection of cars ranging from practical to luxury.

Interpreting Credit Scores

ScoreRateDescription
720-850ExcellentThis represents the best score range and best financing terms
700-719Very GoodQualifies a person for favorable financing
675-699AverageA score in this range will usually qualify for most loans
620-674Sub-primeMay still qualify, but will pay higher interest
560-619RiskyWill have trouble obtaining a loan
500-559Very RiskyNeed to work on improving your rating

Spencer Davis, a junior at Highland, said, "I had a pretty good credit score. It was around 800."

Another junior, Kyera Burks, said, "I did select the BMW but that was kind of bad because I had the highest monthly payment."

Those payments were determined by interest rates -- the higher the score, the better the rate.

"If you have bad credit the bank will look at you and not try to be mean but tell you, hey you'd better learn to ride bikes," Burks said.

Bankers also taught the students how to get a good credit score and what can lower that number, as well as budgeting.


The national average credit score is 692; Utah's average is 683. -Experian

Student Spencer Davis said, "I'd have to put most everything aside and pay for my car."

It served as a good break from the business world for bankers and a good lesson to students.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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