For Immediate Release
October 21, 2011
Contact Information

Valerie Williams

(BPRW) Bankers trade offices for classrooms during support of the ABA's annual "˜Get Smart About Credit' campaign in October

- With the two-in-five Americans living paycheck to paycheck, financial education more important than ever -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – CHARLOTTE, Oct. 21, 2011 – Throughout October, team members from Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) will volunteer in classrooms and at local non profits across the country, talking with individuals and families about the importance of credit and how to use it responsibly. During a time when making more sensible financial decisions can feel like a complex process, statistics reflect consumer sentiment about the challenges that exist when making credit and financial management decisions:

• 42 percent of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck
o Source: CareerBuilder, 2011 Survey
• 60 percent of Americans do not have a “rainy day” fund to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies
o 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
o Source: Wells Fargo Homeowner Survey (2011)

The education outreach is part of the 9th annual National Get Smart About Credit Day, Oct. 20, 2011, sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. This is the sixth year Wells Fargo has participated in Get Smart About Credit Day, and the company is continuing to expand its participation to include schools and nonprofit organizations during the entire month of October.

“Through our participation in Get Smart About Credit, we hope to help members of the community establish healthy financial behaviors by increasing their knowledge of credit – from using credit cards and applying for car loans to managing a mortgage,” said Michelle Thornhill, senior vice president, diverse segments. "As consumers move through different life stages – like using credit for the first time, paying for education, buying a home, or having children – we offer free tools and tips to help borrowers decide which credit option may be right for them.”

Credit tools for life’s stages
Thinking about how to teach children about credit? Hands on Banking®/El futuro en tus manos® shares the essentials of money management and the responsible use of credit in this fun, free program.

Using credit for the first time? Wells Fargo’s Smarter CreditTM Center contains information and resources about how to use credit sensibly to achieve financial goals.

Thinking about college? Learn about the loan process, and use free scholarship and college search tools through Wells Fargo’s Student Planning & Calculators site.

Using a Visa card for the first time? Log on to the Practical Money Skills site and, using a reference code received with a new Wells Fargo Visa card, take a series of online credit education lessons. Upon completion of the lessons, customers receive a reward – currently free movie tickets.

Buying a home? Download a free guide with tips on the home buying process.

And if you’re looking for a site that can help tie together credit education with information about banking basics and investing, visit the Wells Fargo Financial Education Center.

Wells Fargo also offers these tips to help borrowers develop and maintain good credit:

Credit Report: Be proactive and check your credit report on a regular basis. Order a credit report once a year through  

Budget: Create a budget. Know your needs and wants, and the difference between the two.

Debt: Reduce your outstanding debt, keep credit card balances low and don’t take on more debt than you can handle.

Pay on time: Ask your credit card issuer if it offers automatic payment options or e-mail alerts to remind you when a payment is due. If available, sign up for a bill pay service to help keep you on track. Credit

Limits: Know your credit limits and don’t exceed them.

Fraud: Keep close tabs on the activity in your account. Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. If you notice suspicious activity, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately.

Credit Cards: Save credit card receipts and check them against your statements.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet ( and, and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. We want to help all of our customers succeed financially and create long-term economic growth and quality of life for everyone in our communities. In 2010, the Company invested a record $219 million in grants in 19,000 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.3 million volunteer hours around the country. For more information, please visit: Wells Fargo Bank N.A., is an equal Housing Lender.