In a statement to reporters, ABA President and CEO Frank Keating emphasized the importance of volunteer efforts to help young people gain access to financial education. The ABA offered participants of all ages a "credit road map" designed to help Americans manage money effectively through five stages:
- Start with a credit card. Credit cards for limited credit may offer small credit lines, but responsible account management will attract better deals.
- Make a large down payment on a car loan.
- Budget for an affordable home loan.
- Get involved in kids' credit decisions.Don't co-sign for student credit cards without setting clear expectations.
- Live within your means for an easy retirement.
- They manage an average of seven credit cards, but only typically carry balances on four active accounts at a time.
- They use an average of just 7 percent of their available credit.
- They almost never skip monthly credit card payments: only 4 percent of high achievers reported missing a bill. Even those missed payments happened, on average, more than 4 years ago.
- They seldom open new accounts. The average high achiever account was 11 years old, with many consumers in this group staying loyal to a particular account for more than 25 years.