In September of 2009, the Office of Consumer Affairs, along with a coalition of nine colleges, business and government partners, announced the launch of Project Credit Smarts, a financial awareness and educational campaign designed to educate college students, particularly incoming freshmen, about credit card use, including its dangers and pitfalls.

Since its inception and with the passage of the CARD Act, Project Credit Smarts has evolved into a program to primarily teach college students, as well as high school students, essential financial management tools. Topics include using credit responsibly, knowing what's in your credit report, what makes up a credit score, protecting yourself from identity theft, financing a college education (types of school loans, grants, etc.), affordable banking products, the difference between a debit card and a credit card, and much more.

The Project Credit Smarts teaching module consists of a five-minute video and a 30-minute Power Point presentation, followed by questions and answers.

We have presented to more than 2,000 students at the following colleges and universities:

  • Bentley University
  • Bristol Community College
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Greenfield Community College
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Mt. Wachusett Community College
  • North Shore Community College
  • Pine Manor College
  • Salem State University
  • Simmons College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Suffolk University
  • UMass Amherst
  • UMass Dartmouth
  • Westfield State University

Project Credit Smarts partners include:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) - Boston
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - Northeast Division
  • Massachusetts Bankers Association
  • Massachusetts Credit Union League, Inc.
  • Sallie Mae