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Caution: Students on the Financial Road of Life

April 23, 2002 at 8:13 AM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a fact that young adults must take classes and pass tests before obtaining a driver's license. Unfortunately, there's no guaranteed lesson plan for another important rite of passage into adulthood: handling one's personal finances. In support of Financial Literacy for Youth Month this April, Capital One is addressing the need to teach teens how to avoid potential financial potholes on the road of life before they get behind the wheel of their first credit card.

"With college or a first job in their sights, the challenge of managing finances on their own is right around the corner for many high-school seniors," explained Diana Don, Director of Financial Education at Capital One. "Basic money management skills provide the foundation to help ensure young adults do not handle their finances through trial and error."

Thankfully, resources are available to help young adults and their parents discuss and establish sound personal finance management skills early in life. Start the journey to financial "nirvana" with the following tips for building and using credit wisely from Capital One:

Smart Credit Road Rules

    *     Stop:  Don't buy what you cannot afford. Using a credit card is not
          free money -- it's a simple way to access a loan.  Like any loan, if
          you pay it back over time, there will be interest added to the cost
          of the loan, which can significantly add up when compounded over
          time.

    *     Caution: Drive defensively when using your card to protect your
          credit from loss or theft.  Avoid financial jams and late fees by
          paying bills on time -- it's a responsible financial habit that pays
          off in the long run.

    *     Speed Limit: Don't be a "spend demon."  Know your credit limit and
          do not exceed it.

    *     Slippery When Wet: Be sure to pay more than the minimum payment each
          month to keep your debt under control.  It's even better to pay off
          your debt in full each month to avoid interest payments.  If you run
          into a situation that makes even the minimum payment difficult to
          afford, be sure to contact your lender and alert them of your
          situation.

    *     Yield:  Keep your finances running smoothly by checking in regularly
          with your parents.  They can help you to re-evaluate your credit
          skills, from how much you spend to the way you pay your bills, and
          correct bad habits before they start.

Capital One's Consumer Education Resources

In an effort to help Americans empower themselves with the knowledge they need to develop sound financial practices, Capital One offers consumer education resources for dealing with life's various financial stages. The company provides easy-to-follow fact sheets that address issues such as obtaining and understanding credit reports, budgeting, saving and recognizing debt problems. All materials are available free online at http://www.capitalone.com/credit101 .

Capital One is proud to be the platinum sponsor of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy's annual awards dinner on April 23, 2002. The goal of the non-profit organization is to ensure students have the skills to be financially competent upon graduation from high school. April is Financial Literacy for Youth Month.

About Capital One

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com ) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 46.6 million customers and $48.6 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2002. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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SOURCE Capital One Financial Corporation

-0- 04/23/2002

/CONTACT: Diana Don of Capital One, +1-703-205-1165, or diana.don@capitalone.com; or Jennifer Butler of Manning Selvage & Lee, +1-212-213-7061, or jennifer.butler@mslpr.com, for Capital One/

/Web site: http://www.capitalone.com