Passumpsic Bank Promotes Credit Awareness Program


Dave Cowens, Passumpsic Savings Bank Mortgage Specialist, instructs seniors at North Country Union High School in Newport about the importance of credit awareness.

A Credit Awareness Program established by Passumpsic Savings Bank for high school seniors in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and in the North Country of New Hampshire has come to the end of another successful tour.

Created by Mortgage Specialist Dave Cowens, the Credit Awareness Program is specifically designed for high school seniors as they are about to enter college, the workforce or the military. Five years ago, Dave began to notice an increase in young people who came through his office to apply for loans who had not paid enough attention to their credit scores as they entered adulthood. He realized the need to reach young people before they graduated high school.

The program emphasizes the immediate importance of establishing and maintaining good credit, a concept not often explained to young adults as they enter the "real world." One topic covered in the presentation provides an overview of the various entities, including banks, that pull consumer credit scores, with an emphasis on how much extra money someone with a poor credit score would pay in extra fees and charges over a lifetime, compared to someone with an excellent credit score. Dave also stresses how easy it is to fall into credit card debt and the difficulties climbing out of that situation.

The Credit Awareness Program, now in its sixth year, has reached approximately 5,000 high school seniors from 12 schools in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire. The program is well received by students, as well as faculty and staff.

"I am and will continue to be incredibly passionate about this program, as the importance of establishing good credit is a topic that is not discussed enough in homes and our school systems," said Dave when asked if he will continue the program for the 2014-2015 school year.


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