FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 23, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
703-683-5004, ext. 118
Visa Awards $10,000 in Prizes for Videos Raising Credit Score Awareness
Three Original 30-Second Videos to Headline "What's My Score" College Outreach Campaign on the Importance of Credit Scores to Students
San Francisco, CA – August 23, 2007 – As part of a vigorous campaign to alert college students about the importance of credit scores, Visa USA today announced the three winners of the What's My Score Video Contest on www.WhatsMyScore.org. The winning amateur filmmakers – all college students themselves – will each receive a portion of the $10,000 in prizes for their 30-second videos on credit scoring. Visa will use the winning videos as part of a national outreach campaign on college campuses to help students improve their financial literacy.
The grand prize video, which netted a $5,000 prize, is entitled "A Rockstar's Credit Score." It was created by Sean Brown, a 21-year-old television and radio major from Deerfield, IL who attends Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. In Sean's video, an arrogant young rock star watches as his life's possessions are repossessed because of his poor financial management. The comical but effective mini-movie took several days to plot and a full day to film with the help of Sean's friends during his summer vacation. "A Rockstar's Credit Score" and the other winning videos can be viewed at www.WhatsMyScore.org.
"So many college students trash their credit scores in school, not intentionally but because they have no idea how to manage their money," said Sean, who aspires to become a video director. "I made this video to help other college students understand that a bad credit score can stick with them for years and make life after school much more expensive."
The "What's My Score Video Contest" was part of Visa's What's My Score financial literacy program that is aimed at raising awareness among young adults on the significance of understanding and improving their credit scores. The striking need to educate college students about credit scores was reinforced by the results of a recently released Visa survey of credit and debit cardholders which found that only 17 percent of respondents knew their FICO credit score by the time they were 21 years old.
"Understanding the importance of credit scores is crucial for college students," said Jason Alderman, director of financial education for Visa USA. "Sean Brown truly tapped into the What's My Score attitude with his relevant and irreverent video on credit scores."
The first and second prize winners were determined by the votes of What's My Score website visitors. Colin George, a 20-year-old film and video major at Drexel University from Elkins Park, PA, won $3,000 for his video, "The Big Date," while Brandon Roots, a 20-year-old Santa Barbara, CA native and film student at New York University, was awarded $2,000 for his video, "Credit Hurdles." Along with Brown's "A Rockstar's Credit Score," these films will become part of the financial literacy materials distributed online and during Visa's What's My Score events at colleges across the country.
Filmmakers had until July 31, 2007 to submit original, 30-second videos on the importance of personal credit awareness to the What's My Score website. Each contestant's video was also given its own customized What's My Score website link to help garner votes while spreading the message about the significance of credit scores. For a complete explanation of contest rules and regulations, please visit http://www.WhatsMyScore.org/contest/rules.php.
A major expansion of Visa's decade-long commitment to financial literacy, the recently launched What's My Score program demystifies credit scores for college students and provides free information on how young adults can improve their scores. A wide variety of resources on the website help students learn the basics of financial management, including budgeting, saving, paying for college, buying a car, getting a first job, protecting their identity and critically evaluating different loans. There are also comprehensive materials available to assist college professors and administrators in teaching students about these vital financial life skills.
In addition to What's My Score, Visa also runs the award-winning Practical Money Skills for Life program (www.PracticalMoneySkills.com), a free, multilingual educational resource complete with home, school and at work financial lesson plans. Practical Money Skills for Life is aimed primarily at teachers and students in elementary through high school, as well as adult consumers.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is a leading payments brand and the nation's largest payments system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders – financial institutions, cardholders and merchants. As of March 31, 2007, in the United States, more than 521 million Visa-branded cards have been issued by more than 13,000 financial institution customers. Visa products generated $1.8 trillion in total volume in the United States during the four quarters ended March 31, 2007. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the globe. For more information, visit www.visa.com.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Romney Willson at 703-683-5004, ext. 118.
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