About 10 students learned how to build good credit at a workshop called “Financial Empowerment” held in the Gianni Lounge as part of AU’s celebration of Black History Month.
The AU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Bank of America co-sponsored the Monday night event that highlighted financial responsibility as a key factor in good credit and in paying back student loans later in life.
Teena Pankey-Davis, a representative of the Washington Northwest Market of Bank of America who works in the Silver Spring branch, filed for bankruptcy when she was younger.
“I have stock in the oodles-of-noodles company,” Pankey-Davis said. “It’s not nice being poor. You don’t want to put yourself in the situation where you’re at a credit card company that’s not looking out for your best interest.”
Assisting Pankey-Davis in the workshop was Althea Ogletree, also a representative of the Washington Northwest Market division.
Bernadette Gailliard, a junior in the Kogod School of Business and vice president of the AU NAACP, was present, along with Diane Carroll, a freshman who is the press and publicity chair for the NAACP. Pizza and prizes were provided for workshop participants.
Gailliard said the program came to campus because of its prior success at AU in December.
Pankey-Davis and Ogletree recommend Bank of America’s student credit card as the ideal way to build good credit.
Darnell Ferguson, a senior in the School of Communications majoring in broadcast journalism, lost his Bank of America student credit card, the platinum Visa, and $2,000 in charges were fraudulently run up on his card. The bank, said Ferguson, credited his account and began investigating the crime the next day.
The online banking system, according to Ferguson, “is very convenient.”
Bank of America offers specialized checking accounts for students. Checking accounts include free, unlimited online banking services as well as an online bill-pay program offered without charge. In an offer that lasts until May of this year, the bank will give cash rewards to students who open accounts and refer their friends to the programs.
Bank of America also offers a student credit card with no annual fee.
“We have higher standards,” said Pankey-Davis.
SunTrust Bank offers a similar student Visa, with no annual fee, optional overdraft protection, free online services and cash advance checks.
Citibank offers a student credit card as well, called the Driver’s Edge Card for College Students, which offers no annual fee, low interest rates and rebates that can be used toward the purchase, lease or maintenance of any vehicle.