Zions Bank Wants Students to Get Smart About Credit

Dozens of Zions Bankers will be teaching financial literacy classes in Idaho and Utah this fall in support of National Get Smart About Credit Day.

Don Milne Oct 17, 2019

As one of the oldest businesses in the intermountain west, Zions Bank has made it an important part of its mission to bring financial support to the communities we serve. We’ve donated millions of dollars to worthy causes over the years. And yet, sometimes it is not enough to just write a check.

Each year during the fall, Zions Bank participates in National Get Smart About Credit Day, an outreach program of the American Bankers Association where bankers in all 50 states visit students in grades 7 to 12 to teach a financial literacy lesson.

students in a classroom
These Nampa, Idaho, students learned how to compare the benefits of different credit cards.

In Utah and Idaho, dozens of Zions Bank employees — from tellers to our President and CEO Scott Anderson — will be spending a few hours with students teaching them how to get smart about credit. Many bankers have done this year after year. Some have participated for more than a decade. We asked our bankers why it’s important to help kids learn about credit. Here’s what they said:

“Everyone will make multiple (some crucial) financial decisions in their life, and to be successful it is essential the person be informed and educated to make prudent and wise decisions.” — Peter J. Morgan, Executive Vice President, National Real Estate

 “It is important to educate the next generation on all things finance. We had the opportunity to recently share with a 12th grade accounting class the basics on how banks evaluate business’s financials to underwrite a commercial loan; the students gave us feedback that the information was valuable and helped them learn a lot about the relationship with banks and small business. Hearing the value we added to their education is one of the many reasons why I participate in the bank’s efforts to help students ‘Get Smart About Credit.’” — Neal Squires, Manager, Boise Eagle and Chinden Branch

I enjoy helping young adults understand how important it is to know who they are getting funds from and that they are responsible to help detect their own fraud and how a fraudulent transaction can affect them and their bank account. It is also a great outlet to inform them what a credit score is, how you get credit and what effects it will have on you in the future when you are looking to purchase a car, home, etc.  I feel if taught early, getting smart about credit will positively affect them for the rest of their lives.” — Brittney Comer, Manager, Newpark Branch

students wearing funny glasses
Newspaper students at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho, received a lesson in identity theft in 2013.

“Volunteering with Get Smart About Credit Day has been a great experience for me. I love teaching students about these critical areas of their financial lives. It is fun to serve in the community and the students and teachers are so appreciative of our service.” — Bryan Halverson, Manager, Business Banking Service Center Operations

 “As a mother of three children and a banker for more than 34 years, I truly see the importance of educating our youth on the importance of understanding credit as it relates to their lives. Our young people need to have the tools to be able to make sound financial decisions and this program teaches our students the importance of credit and how to avoid making poor decisions that can affect them for years to come. I participate because I believe in the program but more importantly, because I feel it is important for me to use my knowledge to invest in our future generations.” — Stephanie Z. Sherrell, Manager, Draper Branch

Among the popular subjects covered for Get Smart About Credit Day visits are identity theft, credit reports, paying for college, and budgeting while in school and after graduation. All lessons are designed for high student interaction to keep them involved in the presentation.

Middle and high school principals or teachers who are interested in having a banker teach their students a Get Smart About Credit lesson from October through December can contact Zions Bank Financial Literacy Manager Don Milne at

Ready to get your child started on the path to financial fitness? The Zions Bank Student Banking suite of products includes Anytime Checking, a Visa Debit Card and digital banking tools that make it easy for students to manage their money.

Please refer to the Deposit Account Agreement, Account Disclosure, Deposit Rate Sheet and Personal Account Schedule of Fees available in the Zions Bank Agreement Center, or visit a local Zions Bank branch to speak with a banker for more details.

Don Milne is Financial Literacy manager for Zions Bank.

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