Student spinning Reality Check wheel

Financial Literacy

Supporting Our Communities Through Financial Literacy Programs

As a community bank, our mission includes helping our customers and communities build solid economic foundations for our region. That commitment is why we focus on delivering world-class products and services to individuals, families and businesses. Providing education on financial matters is also part of our mission, which is why we partner with local schools to improve the financial literacy of the next generation.

As we navigate through the pandemic we will do our best to continue to make our programs available virtually!

Pre-COVID-19, the Credit for Life Fair was an in-person interactive event held at high schools across Massachusetts and beyond and hosted by financial institutions and other organizations.  The purpose of these fairs was to teach high school students how to survive financially in the everyday world BEFORE they leave high school. Students choose professions,  assume the role of 25-year old professionals new to the workforce and use their monthly ‘salaries’, ‘credit cards’ and ‘savings accounts’ to purchase everything they will need to live as 25 year old adults, with the goal of living within their budgets.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person events are not feasible currently. Knowing that the Credit for Life experience is an invaluable life lesson, a consortium of Massachusetts banks has partnered together to produce a similar digital experience that students can complete from their desk, using a computer or tablet, and internet access. This program will be available for schools and banks to utilize in mid-April 2021.

How do high schools and non-sponsor banks/financial institutions participate in Credit for Life?

  • Reach out via website contact us or to member of the CFL committee about utilizing Credit for Life.
  • Schools: If there is already a sponsoring bank in your market, we will forward your interest to that bank and they will be in touch with you.

What is the cost for a bank or non-profit/community organization to sponsor a school and participate?

Financial institutions under $1 billion will pay a flat fee of $1,000 for school year 2020-2021.  Financial institutions $1 billion+ will pay a one-time fee (0.00001% of assets capped at $5,000) for as many schools as they want to sponsor. Schools and/or financial institutions must commit to managing the process on the back end (volunteers for chats, budget counselors etc.). Fees will be used for ongoing site hosting, administration and maintenance, and for ongoing edits for 2021-2022.

Can a high school participate without a financial sponsor and if so, is there a cost?

Yes.  They can a) pay a flat fee of $500; b) use Office of Economic Empowerment grant funds to pay the fee; c) find a sponsoring organization to pay the fee and help manage the event.  If none of these options are possible, schools can request to have the fee waived.

Can other non-profits who have financial literacy initiatives participate (such as Community Action, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.)?

Yes, they would need to follow the same process as a school (find a sponsoring partner, pay the fee, etc.).

Watch our short video for more information!

Every fall and spring, our employees visit high schools in the Bank's market area to talk to seniors about the importance of careful budgeting, maintaining good credit and the perils of bad credit. The goal is to help young adults develop a stronger understanding of credit and how to use it responsibly before they leave high school.
Good money habits start early! Our "Be A Smart Saver" initiative is a spin-off of Teach Children to Save, a national program that helps young people develop lifelong savings habits at an early age. Each spring, our employees visit area elementary schools to teach young students about the importance of saving money.

At the end of these fun and interactive assemblies, students learn about the things they can do with money (earn, spend, save, share), know the difference between needs and wants and start making their own savings plans!
Buying your first home can be daunting....and that is why we are here to help you navigate the journey and explain all the mortgage options available. You'll be able to make informed choices and find the mortgage that fits your budget and lifestyle through our First-Time Homebuyer program.
A First-time Homebuyer Education Class is recommended for all first-time homebuyers and required for some of our programs.  As an added incentive, Institution for Savings will provide a $500.00 closing credit to all applicants who complete an approved course and close their loan with us.  We have also partnered with local First-time Homebuyer Education providers and offer an "at closing" refund of their standard course fee, in addition to our closing cost credit.

First-time Homebuyer courses provide important information about:
  • Qualifying and applying for a home mortgage
  • Working with realtors, home inspectors and closing attorneys
  • Purchasing homeowners insurance
  • Special issues surrounding condominiums and multifamily homes 
 To register for a class, contact one of our non-profit partners listed below.
Please note:  due to COVID-19, all workshops have been suspended; please contact these organizations directly for more information.

Identity theft occurs when a criminal deliberately uses someone else’s identity to obtain financial gain, to make purchases or to obtain credit or loans or to gain other benefits in another person’s name, often at the other person’s loss or disadvantage. Identity theft occurs when anyone obtains, uses and/or gains access to your personal documents and information without your consent.

Seniors are particularly susceptible to identity theft for a number of reasons and each year the number and types of scams increase. To help seniors protect themselves, we regularly visit senior centers to make presentations on financial topics important to older adults such as identity theft and financial fraud. We also participate in community events to educate adults about staying financially fit.